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FOUR  Englishwomen  have,  during  the  last  thirty  years, 
established  for  themselves  a  well-grounded  fame  as 
travellers — Mrs.  Bishop,  Miss  North,  Miss  Kingsley, 
and  Miss  Gordon  Gumming.  Lady  Baker  and  Lady 
Burton  were  as  brave  and  as  resourceful  as  any 
of  the  four ;  but  it  must  be  remembered  that  each  of 
them  was  protected  by  the  presence  of  her  husband 
against  the  most  powerful  of  terrorising  influences, 
namely,  the  solitude  which  magnifies  peril  and 
weakens  resistance. 

Each  of  these  four  ladies  has  her  own  special 
characteristic,  literary  and  artistic ;  each  in  her  own 
way  has  shown  what  English  ladies  can  do,  and 
with  pen  and  pencil  has  aroused  the  interest  and 
admiration  of  the  reading  public.  Two  generations 
of  readers  have  been  strongly  attracted  by  Mrs.  Bishop's 
books  of  travel,  and  her  capacity  for  accurate  observa- 
tion, her  retentive  memory,  and  her  power  of  vivid 
portrayal,  have  enabled  multitudes  to  share  her 
experiences  and  adventures  in  those  lands  beyond  the 
pale  which  drew  her  ever  with  magnetic  force. 

To  this  widespread  circle,  which  learnt  to  admire 
her  resourceful  self-reliance,  is  due  some  account  of 
the  circumstances  which  moulded  her  character,  and 
of  the  work  which  she  accomplished  for  her  fellows. 


As  a  traveller  Mrs.  Bishop's  outstanding  merit  is, 
that  she  nearly  always  conquered  her  territories 
alone;  that  she  faced  the  wilderness  almost  single- 
handed  ;  that  she  observed  and  recorded  without 
companionship.  She  suffered  no  toil  to  impede  her, 
no  study  to  repel  her.  She  triumphed  over  her 
own  limitations  of  health  and  strength  as  over  the 
dangers  of  the  road.  Nor  did  she  ever  lose,  in 
numberless  rough  vicissitudes,  in  intercourse  with 
untutored  peoples,  or  in  the  strenuous  dominance 
which  she  was  repeatedly  compelled  to  exercise,  her 
womanly  graces  of  tranquil  manner,  gentle  voice, 
reasonable  persuasiveness.  Wherever  she  found  her 
servants — whether  coolies,  mule-drivers,  soldiers,  or 
personal  attendants — she  •  secured  their  devotion. 
The  exceptions  were  very  rare,  and  prove  the  rule. 

Wherever  she  went,  she  gave  freely  the  skilled 
help  with  which  her  training  had  furnished  her,  and 
her  journeys  were  as  much  opportunities  for  healing, 
nursing,  and  teaching,  as  for  incident  and  adventure. 
She  longed  to  serve  every  human  being  with  whom 
she  came  in  contact. 

I  have  sought  to  present  her  as  I  knew  her.  She 
so  kept  the  balance  of  her  gifts  that  it  is  difficult 
to  indicate  one  quality  as  more  characteristic  than 
another.  A  woman  of  deep  religious  conviction  and 
practice,  she  felt  that  true  religion  was  the  direct 
outcome  of  the  working  of  the  Spirit,  and  not  de- 
pendent on  the  influence  of  this  or  that  church  or 
chapel.  She  ardently  desired  the  spread  of  the  king- 
dom of  Christ  Jesus  in  the  world,  but  was  not  herself 
concerned  to  advocate  any  special  rites  or  dogmas. 
She  loved  humanity,  and  eagerly  welcomed  and  in- 
vestigated all  evidences  of  its  wonderful  and  splendid 
possibilities,  and  she  was  inimical  to  any  systems 


which  restricted  the  free  entrance  and  expansion  of  the 
Eternal  Spirit  of  Life. 

In  writing  Mrs.  Bishop's  biography,  I  have  been 
greatly  indebted  for  information  to  her  relatives  and 
friends.  Among  the  former  I  should  like  especially 
to  name  Miss  Merttins  Bird. 

The  friends  who  have  helped  me  are  too  many  for 
detailed  mention,  but  Lady  Middleton,  Mrs.  Blackie, 
Miss  Cullen  (who  so  soon  followed  her  friend  and 
whose  welcome  of  this  volume  I  sadly  miss),  Mrs. 
Bickersteth,  Mrs.  Allan,  Mrs.  Macdonald,  the  Bishop  of 
London,  Sir  Walter  Hillier,  Mr.  Dunlop,  Dr.  Neve,  the 
Rev.  W.  G.  Walshe,  and  the  Rev.  L.  B.  Cholmondeley, 
have  all  contributed  so  greatly  to  the  contents  of  this 
book  that  I  cannot  refrain  from  recording  my  sincere 
acknowledgment  of  their  assistance. 

To  Miss  E.  M.  C.  Ker  very  special  thanks  are 
due  for  constant  help,  explanation,  correction,  ma- 
terials, and  for  the  originals  of  a  large  number  of  the 

And  it  is  difficult  to  express  adequately  my  great 
indebtedness  to  Mr.  Murray  and  Mr.  Hallam  Murray 
for  their  deep  interest  in  the  book,  for  their  en- 
couraging and  scrutinising  criticism,  for  their  personal 
help  in  revision  and  reconstruction,  and  for  the  use  of 
many  letters  which  have  been  the  basis,  not  only  of 
nearly  all  that  is  said  about  Mrs.  Bishop's  published 
books,  but  of  many  most  interesting  passages  in  this 
record  of  her  life. 


August,  1906. 




II.     FIRST  TRAVELS  AND   PUBLICATIONS     .         .  27 



V.     THE   WIDE   EAST     .        .         .        .         .         .         .100 


ONE") 122 


VIII.    LOSS .         .  167 


X.     NATIONS   THAT   SIT   IN   DARKNESS          .         .  217 

XI.    PUBLIC  WORK 244 

XII.    THE   FAR   EAST 270 



XV.    "I  AM   GOING  HOME" 369 


INDEX 398 



MRS.  BISHOP Frontispiece 

From  a  photograph  taken  by  Messrs.  Elliott  fir5  Fry  (Photogravure}. 


GRANDFATHER  OF  MRS.  BISHOP        .        .        .      Facing  p.    2 

From  a  miniature. 


WAS  BORN „  8 

From  a  photograph. 

TAP  LOW  HILL,  TAKEN  BEFORE  1869        .       .       .       .      „       14 

From  a  photograph. 

WYTON  RECTORY »       34 

From  a  photograph. 


From  a  picture  by  Richard  Buckner,  engraved  by  William 
Walker,   1854. 

THE  REV.  EDWARD  BIRD,  MRS.  BISHOP'S  FATHER       .      „       44 

From  a  miniature. 

MRS.  EDWARD  BIRD,  MRS.  BISHOP'S  MOTHER     .       .      „       64 

From  a  photograph. 

DR.  BISHOP „      118 

From  a  photograph  by  /.  Moffat,  Edinburgh. 

HENRIETTA  AMELIA  BIRD .      „      122 

From  a  photograph. 

VIEW  FROM  THE  COTTAGE,  TOBERMORY        .       .       .     „      128 

From  a  photograph  by  Miss  Alison  Barbour» 



From  a  photograph  by  J.  Mo/at  (Photogravure). 

BARTON  HOUSE „      142 



From  a  sketch  by  herself. 


From  a  photograph  by  Miss  Alison  Barbour. 


BAKHTIARI  LURS  .........      228 

MRS.     BISHOP     IN     HER     TRAVELLING     DRESS     AT 

ERZEROUM „      242 

MRS.  BISHOP  IN  TANGIER „      260 

MRS.  BISHOP  AT  NEWCASTLE    .       .  .       .  „      270 

From  a  photograph  by  Lyd  Sawyer. 

MRS.  BISHOP'S  SAMPAN,  HAN  RlVER,  KOREA.         .          .        „       276 
From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

GATE  OF  VICTORY,  MUKDEN „      288 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

SOUTH  GATE,  SEOUL „      294 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


MR.  MACKENZIE „      298 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

MRS.  BISHOP'S  BOAT „      310 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


THE  MITAN  GORGE Facing  p.  312 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

THE  TALU         .        , „      316 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

POPPY  FIELD  AT  CHENG-TU „      320 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

A  MAN-TZE  ROCK  TEMPLE „      322 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


From  a  pfiotograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


WEST  GATE  AT  CHIA-LING  Fu „      360 

Specimen  of  one  of  Mrs.  Bishop' s  Chinese  photographs. 

COVERED  BRIDGE „      370 

From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


TOBERMORY „      394 


NORTH  AMERICA  .       . ,  „ 

the  End 





THE  Birds,  a  widespread  clan  of  the  upper  middle 
class,  almost  defy  tabulation  into  branches  and 
families:  their  genealogists  are  so  embarrassed  by 
the  results  of  constant  intermarriage,  amongst  cousins 
of  far  and  near  degree,  that  the  most  valiant  efforts 
are  marred  by  confusion  and  blunders.  It  must 
suffice,  therefore,  to  supply  some  simple  details  of 
Mrs.  Bishop's  immediate  descent  and  relationships. 
These  relationships  have  so  direct  a  bearing  upon 
her  own  great  inheritance  of  character — mental, 
moral,  and  spiritual — that  we  may  be  pardoned  for 
making  a  short  digression  into  the  maze  of  collateral 
families  doubly  and  trebly  allied  to  each  other. 

Of  the  clan  generally  little  need  be  told,  except 
its  descent  from  William  Bird,  who  lived  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  and  the  early  part  of 
the  eighteenth  century.  He  died  in  1731,  bequeath- 
ing Barton,  in  Warwickshire,  to  his  eldest  son, 
Thomas  Bird.  His  second  son,  John,  was  for 
a  time  in  London,  where  he  became  an  alderman, 
and,  after  marrying  Judith  Wilberforce,  retired  to 
Kenilworth,  where  he  died  and  was  buried  in  1772. 
His  wife,  who  survived  him  many  years,  was  in 
due  time  laid  by  his  side. 



Of  these  Kenilworth  Birds,  two  daughters,  Hannah 
and  Lucy,  especially  claim  our  attention.  Hannah, 
the  elder,  married,  in  1779,  the  Rev.  Robert  Sumner, 
Vicar  of  Kenilworth,  whom  she  survived  forty- 
four  years,  living  to  see  her  eldest  son,  John 
Bird  Sumner,  made  Bishop  of  Chester,  a  see  from 
which  he  rose  to  the  Primacy  of  the  Church  of 
England ;  while  her  second  son,  Charles  Richard 
Sumner,  was  first  made  Bishop  of  Llandaff,  and  was 
then  transferred  to  the  see  of  Winchester. 

Hannah  Bird's  sister  Lucy  married  her  cousin, 
Robert  Bird,  of  Barton,  and  was  Mrs.  Bishop's 

This  Robert  Bird  was  Thomas  Bird's  grandson, 
a  second  son,  and  obliged  to  make  his  way  in  the 
world  without  expectation  of  inheriting  Barton 
House.  In  this  he  prospered,  seeking  and  finding 
fortune  in  India  first,  and  then  in  America,  for 
he  had  both  spirit  and  ability,  inherited  perhaps 
from  his  maternal  grandfather,  Sir  George  Merttins, 
sometime  Lord  Mayor  of  London,  whose  memorial 
slab,  with  his  shield  as  governor  and  treasurer  of 
Christ's  Hospital,  has  quite  recently  been  removed 
to  Horsham. 

When  Robert's  elder  brother,  Henry,  died  without 
children,  he  succeeded  to  the  property  in  Warwick- 
shire. But  by  this  time  he  was  married  and  the 
father  of  ten  children — four  sons  and  six  daughters. 
Barton  was  remote,  and  Mr.  Bird  felt  disinclined  to 
live  out  of  touch  with  the  world,  so  he  let  the  place 
for  a  long  term  of  years,  and  rented  Taplow  Hill, 
in  Berkshire,  where  he  and  his  family  became  so 
thoroughly  at  home  that  the  county  claimed  them 
as  Birds  of  Taplow,  ignoring  the  fact  that  they  were 
merely  its  tenants. 



He  was  properly  Robert  Bird  of  Barton,  in  War- 
wickshire, and  the  old  gabled  manor-house  was 
worthy  of  greater  attachment  from  its  owner,  though 
we  can  understand  his  seeking  a  more  advantageous 
centre  as  home  for  his  sons  and  daughters.  Later 
on  in  our  story  Barton  will  interest  us  as  the  house 
from  which  Isabella  Bird  was  married,  and  we 
linger  a  moment  ere  we  follow  her  grandfather  to 
Berkshire.  It  is  greatly  altered  now  to  suit  modern 
requirements,  but  in  1881  it  remained  much  as  it 
had  ever  been,  and,  with  the  village  on  the  heath 
and  its  ancient  church,  looked  more  like  a  bit  of 
Queen  Elizabeth's  than  of  Queen  Victoria's  England. 
The  little  church  of  St.  Lawrence,  with  Norman 
tower  and  antique  inconvenience,  takes  us  farther 
back  still,  to  days  when  the  broad  lands  of  War- 
wickshire harboured  only  churls  enough  to  serve 
their  lord's  manor,  and  parish  laws  took  no  account 
of  the  future  and  increasing  rural  congregations. 

But  the  squire  of  Barton  on  his  final  return  from 
America  settled  at  Taplow  Hill.  His  wife  was  a 
daughter  of  Judith  Wilberforce,  and  brought  her 
mother's  strenuous  racial  strain  into  the  home 
atmosphere  and  into  her  children's  character  and 
rearing.  She  was  doubly  connected  with  the  Wilber- 
forces,  for  her  aunt,  Elizabeth  Bird,  of  Kenilworth, 
married  Judith's  uncle,  Robert  Wilberforce,  of  Hull : 
these  two  were  parents  of  the  great  liberator,  William 
Wilberforce.  The  young  people  at  Taplow  Hill  were 
twice  over  Wilberforce's  cousins,  and  in  his  youth 
and  middle-age  he  was  a  constant  guest  there, 
honoured  by  all,  and  especially  after  his  death  by 
the  lingering  maiden  ladies,  who  treasured  as 
mementoes  of  their  great  kinsman  lines  inscribed 
by  him  on  the  blank  leaves  of  their  Bibles. 


How  forcibly  this  impassioned  strain  was  to  direct 
and  govern  Edward  Bird,  the  third  son  of  Robert 
and  Lucy  Bird,  remains  to  be  told  ;  but  it  is  im- 
possible to  overestimate  its  influence  both  in  his  and 
his  daughter's  character.  From  her  great-grand- 
mother, grandmother,  and  father  Isabella. received  the 
priceless  inheritance  of  a  soul-hunger  and  thirst  for 
righteousness,  which  in  her  later  years  was  to 
dominate  all  that  she  observed,  to  vitalise  all  her 
convictions,  and  to  culminate  in  her  memorable 
appeals  to  Christian  England  to  send  out  into  all 
the  Christless  world  and  bring  its  unhappy  millions 
to  the  Saviour. 

The  Taplow  sons  and  daughters  were  Robert 
Merttins  Bird,  sent  early  to  India,  a  happy-hunting- 
ground  for  lads  in  the  days  of  the  East  India 
Company ;  Henry,  who  went  into  the  navy  ;  Lucy, 
who  married  the  Rev.  Marmaduke  Thompson  ;  Mary, 
who  followed  her  eldest  brother  to  India,  and  when 
he  married  devoted  herself  to  missionary  work  and 
died  in  harness  there;  Edward,  who  was  first  a 
barrister  and  then  a  clergyman;  Elizabeth,  who 
married  Mr.  Harrington  Evans ;  Henrietta,  who 
had  strong  views  on  infant  baptism  and  renounced 
on  their  behalf  her  clerical  lover,  at  the  sacrifice  of 
her  life  ;  Rebecca  and  Catherine,  who  never  married  ; 
and  George  Merttins  the  youngest,  born  in  America, 
who  followed  his  eldest  brother  to  India,  where 
both  married  daughters  of  the  Rev.  David  Brown, 
one  of  the  "  five  great  chaplains,"  and  a  colleague  of 
Henry  Martyn. 

These  two  Taplow  sons  entered  the  service  of  the 
East  India  Company,  but  the  younger  died  in  early 
manhood,  his  widow  bringing  two  little  ones  to  Taplow 
Hill,  and  living  there  till  old  Mr.  Bird's  death. 

i792-i8i2]  EDWARD  BIRD  5 

It  is  with  the  third  son,  Edward  Bird,  that  we 
have  especially  to  do,  and  of  his  career  we  have  clear 
although  scanty  information  in  a  memorial  sketch 
written  by  his  daughter  in  1858,  immediately  after 
his  death,  and  printed  for  private  circulation.  It 
contains  only  thirty-five  short  pages,  and  deals  almost 
wholly  with  his  clerical  and  public  rather  than  with  his 
private  life.  But  a  few  facts  may  be  gathered  from 
it  and  interwoven  with  reminiscences  supplied  by 
his  niece,  Miss  Merttins  Bird. 

He  was  born  in  1792,  and  must  have  been  a  lad 
with  two  brothers  and  three  sisters  older  than  himself 
when  the  family  roof-tree  was  set  up  at  Taplow  early 
in  the  last  century.  His  father  destined  him,  like 
his  elder  sons,  for  India,  and  sent  him  to  Cambridge 
for  thorough  equipment.  He  was  entered  at 
Magdalene,  where  he  graduated.  In  the  meantime, 
his  sister  Elizabeth  married  the  Rev.  J.  Harrington 
Evans,  a  young  clergyman  of  the  strongest  evangelical 
type.  Edward  Bird  was  about  twenty  years  old  when 
it  was  proposed  that  he  should  read  the  Bible 
with  his  brother-in-law  during  vacation  time.  He 
did  so  in  a  perfunctory  manner,  indifferent  at  that 
time  to  its  message.  Mr.  Evans  was  discouraged 
and  suggested  that  readings  so  little  valued  should 
cease.  This  startled  his  pupil  and  brought  him  to 
anxious  self-questioning.  He  became  conscious  of 
his  own  levity,  went  home  in  distress  and  prayed 
that  God  would  pardon  him  and  vouchsafe  to 
him  every  blessing  which  the  Bible  can  confer. 
From  that  day  he  read  anxiously  and  earnestly, 
but  it  was  not  until  he  heard  Mr.  Evans  preach 
on  the  text  "  Without  Me  ye  can  do  nothing," 
that  he  fully  understood  his  deep  need  of  Christ 
Himself.  It  was  a  new  man  in  Christ  that  returned 


to  Magdalene,  eager  to  serve  Him  whom  now  he 

When  he  had  graduated  he  went  to  London, 
studied  law  with  Sir  George  Stephen,  and  was  called 
to  the  bar  at  Lincoln's  Inn.  This  was  in  pursuance 
of  his  father's  plan  for  him,  as  a  legal  training  led 
to  judicial  appointments  and  promotion  in  India. 
Thither  therefore  he  sailed  with  his  young  wife, 
Emma  Burt,  in  1825,  and  settled  down  to  practise 
as  a  barrister  of  the  Supreme  Court  in  Calcutta. 
But  a  great  sorrow  befell  him  the  following  year, 
when  his  wife  died  of  cholera  and  left  him  comfort- 
less but  for  her  babe,  a  boy  called  Edward  after 
himself,  who  was  stricken  with  fatal  fever  three 
years  later.  This  double  blow  shattered  his  health, 
and  he  was  compelled  to  relinquish  his  practice  and 
return  to  England  in  1829. 

The  home  nursing  gradually  restored  his  natural 
vigour,  but  he  found  himself  averse  to  resuming 
his  life  at  the  point  of  rupture.  Calcutta's  worldli- 
ness,  rapacity,  and  vice  had  appalled  him,  and 
during  his  brief  stay  he  had  maintained  an  attitude 
of  uncompromising  opposition  to  its  callous  un- 
righteousness. To  return  was  very  distasteful  to 
him.  Besides,  grief,  loss,  and  illness  had  weakened 
his  anxiety  about  preferment  and  distinction.  Within 
his  heart  had  awakened  a  new  yearning,  a  new 
necessity,  and  it  had  matured  in  the  darkness  of  his 
night  of  sorrow.  He  longed  to  preach  the  gospel, 
and  to  gather  in  souls  for  Christ — souls  for  whom 
the  world  was  ever  on  the  watch  to  tarnish  them 
and  set  its  mark  upon  them. 

He  was  thirty-eight  years  old  when  he  took  Holy 
Orders — set  upon  doing  in  half  a  lifetime  a  whole 
span  of  work  in  God's  vineyard.  His  first  curacy 

1830]  THE  LAWSONS  7 

was  at  Boroughbridge  in  Yorkshire.  At  Borough- 
bridge  Hall  lived  the  widow  and  family  of  the  Rev. 
Marmaduke  Lawson.  Mrs.  Lawson  had  inherited 
the  house  and  grounds  at  her  uncle's  death  in  1805. 
The  Hall  is  mainly  a  fine  old  Elizabethan  structure, 
gabled  and  pointed,  to  which  a  pillared  porch  and 
large  bay-windows  were  added  in  1836.  Mr.  Lawson 
had  been  a  prebendary  of  Ripon  Cathedral,  an  able 
but  exceedingly  reserved  man.  His  children  inherited 
both  characteristics.  In  the  year  before  his  father's 
death,  the  eldest,  also  Marmaduke,  won  the  first 
Pitt  scholarship  at  Cambridge;  and  when  news  of 
this  success  reached  the  old  gentleman  he  said  drily, 
"  Barbara  would  have  done  better."  But  Marmaduke 
took  the  Chancellor's  medal  also,  and  both  he  and 
his  brother  Andrew  proved  themselves  to  be  honour- 
able and  useful  men,  members  too  of  the  House  of 
Commons,  for  which  the  more  brilliant  Barbara  was 
unhappily  disqualified.  Mr.  Andrew  Lawson  lived 
in  the  neighbouring  manor  of  Aldborough,  and 
possessed  a  most  interesting  collection  of  pre-Roman 
and  Roman  antiquities,  for  Aldborough  was  the 
ancient  capital  of  the  Brigantes,  and  became  a 
favourite  Brito-Roman  residence  with  its  captors. 
He  built  and  endowed  a  district  parish  church.  He 
also  had  distinguished  himself  both  at  Shrewsbury, 
under  Dr.  Butler,  and  at  Merton  College,  Oxford,  and 
was  twice  returned  to  Parliament  as  Conservative 
member  for  Knaresborough.  He  outlived  his  brother 
Marmaduke  thirty  years. 

Their  sisters  were  highly  educated  up  to  the 
measure  of  that  day ;  and  when  Mr.  Bird  arrived  as 
curate  at  Boroughbridge,  he  found  at  once  congenial 
friends  in  Mrs.  Lawson  and  her  family.  This  friend- 
ship ripened  to  affection  in  the  case  of  Dora  Lawson, 


the  second  daughter,  and  they  were  married  in  1830. 
Dora  Lawson's  favourite  occupation  for  some  years 
had  been  Sunday-school  work.  There  was  none  at 
Boroughbridge,  so  she  paid  for  a  room  in  the  village 
out  of  her  own  pocket-money,  and  taught  five  classes 
there  every  Sunday,  from  young  women  down  to 
little  children.  She  was  a  fitting  companion  in  all 
respects — a  woman  whose  tact,  dignity,  and  kindness 
never  failed,  although  great  reserve  of  manner  some- 
times hid  the  true  warmth  of  her  nature. 

Isabella  Lucy,  called  after  her  two  grandmothers, 
was  born  at  Boroughbridge  Hall  on  October  15,  1831. 

Early  next  year  Mr.  Bird  went  as  curate  to  Maiden- 
head in  Berkshire,  where  two  years  of  extraordinary 
activity  awaited  him.  The  spirit  which  animated  him 
was  felt  from  the  beginning,  and  he  not  only  filled 
the  church  at  all  ordinary  services,  but  was  obliged 
to  hold  many  extra  meetings  and  to  receive  in  his 
study,  daily,  many  anxious  inquirers  of  every  class. 
A  troop  of  the  Life  Guards  stationed  at  Maidenhead 
came  under  his  influence,  and  some  of  the  men  came 
to  him  for  spiritual  help  and  guidance.  It  was  a  time 
of  rapid  sowing,  reaping,  and  harvesting,  very  rare 
in  one  man's  experience,  and  he  was  filled  with 
joy  and  gratitude.  But  his  physical  strength  was 
not  equal  to  the  strain,  and,  although  he  recognised 
that  God  had  set  His  seal  upon  the  life  dedicated  to 
Him,  his  enfeebled  constitution  compelled  him  to 
abandon  his  work  at  Maidenhead,  and  his  cousin, 
Dr.  Bird  Sumner,  Bishop  of  Chester,  presented  him 
with  the  quiet  living  of  Tattenhall,  in  Cheshire. 

Thither  he  removed  with  his  wife  and  little  girl 
in  1834,  and  in  this  restful  sphere  he  remained  for 
eight  years.  A  baby  boy,  called  Edward,  had  been 
born,  and  died  at  Maidenhead  in  1833.  Soon  after 


his  arrival  his  third  child  was  born,  a  little  girl, 
to  whom  was  given  her  aunt  Henrietta's  name. 
Here,  in  the  midst  of  beautiful  scenery,  amongst 
the  sweet  influences  of  garden  and  pasture,  these 
little  ones  spent  their  early  childhood.  The  country 
round  consisted  of  large  tracts  of  grazing-lands 
where  the  farmers  were  engaged  in  cheese-making. 

Chester  was  seven  miles  distant,  but  three  miles 
of  the  road  were  paved,  and  it  was  not  pleasant  for 
either  walking,  driving,  or  riding.  Nevertheless, 
Isabella  was  both  walking  and  riding  upon  it  when 
she  was  little  more  than  four  years  old.  Her  tiny 
body  was  fragile,  her  face  white,  and  on  her  lips  was 
the  constant  cry,  "  I  very  tired."  Her  parents  kept 
her  out  of  doors  as  much  as  possible,  and  the  doctor 
suggested  that  Mr.  Bird  should  take  her  on  a  cushion 
before  him  when  he  rode  round  his  parish.  So  she 
learned  to  ride  almost  in  infancy,  and  was  promoted 
a  year  or  two  later  to  her  own  horse,  for  her  father 
rode  one  and  she  the  other  of  the  carriage-pair. 

To  those  outings  she  owed  far  more  than  her 
life-long  familiarity  with  the  art  of  riding,  although 
that  was  no  small  gain  for  one  who  was  afterwards 
to  mount,  as  necessity  urged,  ox,  horse,  mule, 
or  yak  in  distant  lands.  As  a  child  her  riding- 
habit  was  her  usual  dress — a  smocked  frock,  little 
finer  than  a  carter's.  As  they  rode,  Mr.  Bird 
would  draw  her  attention  to  every  feature  of  the 
wayside — to  the  fields  far  and  near,  in  grass,  or 
crops,  or  fallow,  to  the  farm-houses,  their  dairies 
and  press-houses,  telling  her  the  uses  of  all  and 
each,  questioning  her  minutely  as  to  what  she  saw. 
Long  after,  a  friend  asked  her  to  what  she  traced 
her  habit  of  accurate  observation.  "  To  my  father's 
conversational  questioning  upon  everything,"  she 


answered.  "  If  we  rode,  he  made  me  tell  him  about 
the  crops  in  such-and-such  fields — whether  a  water- 
wheel  were  under-shot,  or  over-shot,  how  each  gate 
we  passed  through  was  hung,  about  animals  seen 
and  parishioners  met."  And  so  she  learned  to 
measure  distance  and  space  with  her  eye,  to  note 
each  season's  signs  and  labours,  to  look  for  changes 
in  the  crops  and  to  know  their  purpose. 

And  as  her  father  knew  every  wayside  and  meadow 
flower,  she  learned  their  names,  habits,  and  uses, 
and  felt  for  them  an  almost  passionate  love,  which 
she  retained  to  the  end  of  her  life.  Even  when 
human  sympathy  hardly  consoled  her,  flowers  would 
reach  her  sorrow  and  their  sweet  solace  would 
recall  her  to  fortitude. 

An  incident  out  of  the  meagre  annals  of  those 
years  at  Tattenhall  recurs  to  the  memory  as  it  was 
told  in  after  years  by  herself.  One  Sunday  morning 
she  was  left  alone  in  the  house  and  in  bed.  Her 
mother,  thinking  her  scarcely  well  enough  to  go  to 
church,  had  wrapped  her  up  and  bidden  her  rest  till 
she  returned.  Isabella  was  not  more  than  five  years 
old,  but  a  little  scheme  had  been  forming  in  her 
active  mind  for  some  days,  and  she  felt  this  solitude 
to  be  her  opportunity.  Out  on  the  lawn  was  a  round 
bed  of  ranunculuses,  crimson  and  golden  and  glorious, 
which  she  longed  to  visit.  It  was  forbidden,  for 
the  weather  had  been  rainy  and  the  grass  was 
damp.  But  she  stole  out  of  her  wrappings  and 
pattered  downstairs  with  shoeless  feet  to  the 
drawing-room  window,  which  opened  down  to  the 
ground.  Out  she  darted  straight  to  the  flower-bed, 
and  walking  round  and  round,  counting  the  bright 
blossoms,  touching  them  and  kissing  them,  she  filled 
her  whole  being  with  the  joy  of  them,  and  flitted 

,836]  CHILDHOOD  ii 

back  to  bed.  She  said  no  word  about  her  escapade, 
but  cherished  its  memory  awhile  and  then  forgot  it 
for  a  score  of  years. 

To  this  time  too  belongs  one  of  those  thrilling 
episodes  which  give  to  children  their  first  awe- 
stricken  but  rapt  experience  of  the  mystery  of 

Near  Tattenhall  rises  a  hill  known  as  Rawhead, 
a  name  of  itself  sufficient  to  fill  a  child's  imagination 
with  strange  terrors.  This  hill  was  full  of  caves,  in 
which  dwelt  a  gang  of  outcasts  whose  doings  grew 
notorious.  Robbery  followed  robbery  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. The  caves  were  searched  on  suspicion, 
but  nothing  was  found  to  warrant  arrest.  The 
burglaries  continued  and  the  matter  grew  serious. 
At  length  one  midnight  some  one  passing  the 
churchyard  saw  lights  and  heard  voices,  and  forth- 
with proclaimed  that  it  was  haunted.  No  one  would 
go  near  it,  until  the  magistrates  decided  to  make  a 
midnight  raid  with  armed  constables,  and  to  see 
what  manner  of  ghosts  disturbed  its  peace.  They 
found  the  Rawhead  gang  busy  hiding  booty  in  a 
grave,  the  slab  of  which  they  had  raised.  An  old  woman 
whose  cottage  was  close  to  the  churchyard  proved  to 
be  in  collusion  with  the  burglars  and  had  assisted 
them  to  choose  their  storehouse.  All  were  arrested 
and  transported.  But  Isabella  never  forgot  how 
her  nurse  took  her  to  see  the  unearthing  of  silver- 
plate  and  jewellery  from  that  grim  hiding-place,  and 
how,  trembling,  rather  with  eagerness  than  fear,  she 
and  a  little  playfellow  watched  the  whole  process 
hand-in-hand,  from  the  lifting  of  the  slab  to  the 
recovery  of  the  last  teaspoon. 

Fear,  indeed,  she  hardly  knew,  and  her  fearlessness 
was  disconcerting  at  times,  when  she  played  the 


role  of  enfant  terrible,  flashing  out  the  pithy  sarcasm 
which  in  youth  came  so  readily  to  her  lips. 

She  was  not  more  than  six  years  old  when — 
as  Miss  Grainger  Stewart  told  us  in  Blackwood's 
Magazine,  a  few  weeks  after  her  death — she  sat 
listening  to  a  gentleman  who  was  canvassing 
Tattenhall  in  his  own  interest,  and  who  excited  her 
distrust  by  his  too  obviously  expressed  admiration 
of  the  lovely  little  Henrietta.  She  marched  up  to 
him  and  asked  in  clear  incisive  tones  :  "  Sir  Malpas 
de  Grey  Tatton  Egerton,  did  you  tell  my  father  my 
sister  was  so  pretty  because  you  wanted  his  vote  ?  " 

This  power  of  expressing  herself  was  remarkable 
from  her  earliest  years.  Her  parents  treated  her  with 
wise  observation  and  noted  her  quick  mental  growth, 
indicating  rich  and  varied  endowment.  Her  brain 
was  never  stunted  by  rebuff,  nor  stultified  by 
baby  language.  They  took  ample  care  that  her 
lessons  should  not  be  overstimulating ;  and  as  Mrs. 
Bird  taught  her  children  herself,  her  judgment  meted 
out  the  length  and  quality  of  what  they  learned. 
To  be  in  the  open  air,  to  be  with  her  parents,  to 
understand  therefore  almost  unconsciously  the  con- 
ditions of  life  and  human  intercourse,  the  arts  too 
of  speaking,  reading,  and  writing;  to  absorb  from 
father  and  mother  opinions,  standards,  tastes,  and 
distastes — these  were  her  early  education  in  the 
truest  sense.  Recalling  that  time,  she  once  said  : 
"  No  one  can  teach  now  as  my  mother  taught ;  it 
was  all  so  wonderfully  interesting  that  we  sat  spell- 
bound when  she  explained  things  to  us.  We  should 
never  have  liked  an  ordinary  teacher." 

It  was  not  possible,  however,  to  stay  her  from 
reading  when  she  had  once  found  the  key  to  all 
knowledge  stored  in  books.  One  day  she  was  lost, 

i838]  EDUCATION  13 

and  the  mid-day  meal  was  cooling  on  the  table 
while  mother  and  maids  sought  her  high  and  low. 
At  last,  in  order  that  no  possible  hiding-place  might  be 
overlooked,  they  looked  into  the  stable,  and  there  in 
the  manger  they  found  her  poring  over  a  heavy  volume, 
which  proved  to  be  Alison's  French  Revolution,  more 
fascinating  to  the  seven-year-old  student  than  all  the 
moral  tales  of  Maria  Edgeworth  and  her  like. 
Isabella  Bird  wanted  no  books  for  children ;  from 
the  beginning  her  mind  fastened  on  the  actual  and 
grew  robust  on  the  strongest  food,  her  vigorous 
imagination  finding  scope,  and  to  spare,  in  real  events, 
whether  past  or  present,  and  preferring  the  miracles 
of  Moses,  and  the  wilderness-march  of  his  people, 
to  all  the  sentimental  and  educational  feigning  of 
that  day. 

Then  there  was  one  delightful  annual  visit  which 
made  a  deep  impression  upon  her  character  and 
multiplied  her  standards.  This  was  the  holiday  at 
Taplow  Hill  with  the  grandparents  and  maiden  aunts. 
They  all  went  together  and  spent  about  a  month,  in 
the  summer-time,  when  the  gardens  looked  their  best. 

The  old  people  were  still  alive,  although  the  Squire 
was  nearing  eighty,  and  Mrs.  Robert  Bird  was  but 
four  years  younger.  Their  long  life  together  was 
approaching  its  end,  for  the  grandfather  died  in 
1842,  when  Isabella  was  eleven  years  old,  and  the 
grandmother  was  solitary  for  six  surviving  years. 
But  while  Mr.  Bird  was  Rector  of  Tattenhall  both 
were  alive,  dignified  and  hospitable.  Taplow  not 
only  sheltered  all  the  Indian  grandchildren,  but  the 
bereaved  children  of  the  house  as  well.  It  is  from 
Miss  Merttins  Bird,  "  the  last  Taplow  grandchild," 
that  we  gather  details  of  her  childhood's  home,  and 
are  therefore  enabled  to  realise  the  happy  summer 


days  which  helped  to  mould  Isabella's  manners, 
her  sense  of  the  fitting,  perhaps  to  accentuate  her 
reserve  and  to  develop  her  individuality.  The  house 
is  now  altered  out  of  knowledge,  but  it  was  always 
large  and  roomy,  with  stables,  paddocks,  gardens, 
and  ample  space  attached.  Long  walks,  planted  with 
shrubs  and  fruit-trees,  ran  on  either  side  of  a  great 
field,  and  these  began  and  ended  in  summer-houses. 
Beyond  the  field  were  palings  which  separated  the 
grounds  of  Taplow  Hill  from  the  adjoining  Rectory 
gardens.  Two  generations  of  Birds  have  played 
as  children  beneath  the  old  mulberry-tree,  on  the 
lawn  or  round  about  the  borders,  full  of  all  old- 
fashioned  garden  glories,  every  one  of  which  Isabella 
remembered  all  her  life.  A  sunk  fence  separated 
garden  from  paddocks,  and  along  it  thyme,  yarrow, 
and  bedstraw  made  a  bank  of  purple  and  gold  in 

Within,  the  drawing-room  was  wide-bayed  and 
furnished  with  satin-wood,  inlaid  with  borders  of  white 
roses  on  tables  and  chairs,  whose  spindle-legs  vouched 
for  their  period.  There,  in  the  evenings,  old  and 
young  would  assemble  to  listen  to  reading  aloud 
or  unite  in  singing  "  The  Pilgrim  Fathers,"  "  The 
Curfew  Bell,"  "  The  Captive  Knight,"  or  some  sweet 
melody  by  Balfe  or  Bishop. 

Now  and  again  some  guest  would  engross  his 
hearers  by  tales  in  condemnation  of  slavery  or  on 
behalf  of  missions. 

The  Taplow  grandchildren  breathed  the  atmo- 
sphere of  "Causes,"  and  were  in  contact  with  their 
leaders  during  all  the  second  quarter  of  last  century. 
What  used  to  be  called  the  "Clapham  Sect"  knew 
Taplow  Hill  well.  Old  Mrs.  Bird's  close  kinship  with 
William  Wilberforce,  a  kinship  moral  as  well  as 

i84o]  TAPLOW  HILL  15 

racial,   determined   the    strictly  evangelical    tone    of 
her  household. 

Family  prayers  began  the  morning.  All  servants, 
outdoor  as  well  as  indoor,  were  summoned,  and  sat  in 
line  to  hear  the  Squire  read  the  lessons  and  a  prayer 
for  the  day  out  of  Thornton's  Family  Prayers.  Then 
the  old  gentleman  rose  up  and  bowed  to  men  and 
maids,  as  they  filed  out  past  him  with  curtseys  and 
salutes.  Breakfast  followed,  when  letters  were  read 
aloud,  for  postage  was  a  consideration  then,  and 
letters  were  framed  with  decorum  for  general  reading— 
those  from  India  exciting  special  interest.  The 
ladies  of  the  family  took  no  sugar  in  their  tea,  and 
felt  the  sacrifice  to  be  a  sacred  protest  against 
slave-grown  products.  Oddly  enough,  although  they 
daily  mourned  its  absence,  they  took  sugarless  tea 
long  after  the  emancipation  in  the  West  Indies. 

The  maiden  aunts  were  short-sighted,  and  wore 
spectacles,  which  gave  them  an  expression  of  stern- 
ness quite  foreign  to  their  natures.  Still,  on  certain 
points  they  were  stern  enough,  and  the  only 
drawback  to  Isabella's  perfect  enjoyment  of  Taplow 
Hill  was  that  she  was  never  allowed  to  sit  down  during 
the  long  Sunday  services,  but  in  pain  and  weariness 
had  to  endure,  standing  to  the  end.  This  was 
especially  irksome  to  her,  as  it  was  in  her  early 
childhood  that  the  trouble  which  dogged  her  whole 
suffering  life  was  developed;  and  had  her  courage 
not  risen  above  it  she  might  have  delivered  herself 
over  to  confirmed  ill-health  and  adorned  a  sofa  all 
her  days.  But,  even  as  a  child,  her  brave  spirit 
scorned  prolonged  concession  to  this  delicacy.  Every 
one  rode  at  Taplow,  and  Isabella  bettered  her  home 
lessons  upon  Shag  and  Camilla.  She  raced  and 
rode  with  her  cousins,  and,  though  younger  than 


some  of  them,  was  recognised  amongst  them  all  as 
a  superior,  whose  opinions  on  religious,  social,  and 
even  political  subjects  were  to  be  courted  and 

Her  little  sister  Henrietta  was  shyer  and  less 
spirited,  although  her  health  was  more  equable  and 
her  mental  advance  almost  as  rapid  as  Isabella's. 
She  was  very  winning  and  gentle ;  always  happy 
with  a  book  and  with  her  mother;  a  little  reserved, 
and  less  inclined  for  boisterous  comradeship.  But 
she,  too,  could  ride  and  run  and  read  and  dream. 
More  drawn  by  the  spiritual  world  than  was  Isabella 
then,  her  thoughts  were  wont  to  dwell  there  in  a 
kind  of  rapt  reverie.  A  cousin,  Henrietta  Bird,  from 
whom  we  have  quoted  largely  in  these  details  about 
Taplow,  lived  there ;  and  to  distinguish  one  from  the 
other,  Isabella's  sister  was  called  Hennie,  and  was 
always  known  by  that  abbreviation. 

The  little  girls  were  respectively  eleven  and  eight 
when  they  were  taken  away  from  Tattenhall  and 
set  down  in  Birmingham.  More  than  one  reason 
made  this  change  advisable.  Isabella  was  stronger, 
Mr.  Bird  was  anxious  for  a  more  arduous  sphere 
of  labour,  and  some  discontent  had  arisen  at  his 
warm  championship  of  Sabbath  observance  in  the 
cheese-making  districts  round  Tattenhall. 

A  great  sorrow  fell  upon  them  all  in  1842,  in  the 
death  of  their  beloved  father  and  grandfather.  He  had 
lived  eighty-two  years,  and  had  received  the  last 
desire  of  his  heart  in  the  return  of  his  eldest  son 
Robert  Merttins  Bird.  When  the  successful  Anglo- 
Indian  stood  by  his  bedside,  his  father  looked  at  him 
and  whispered :  "What  was  it  the  old  man  Simeon 
said?  Nunc  dimittis,  was  it  not?"  And  soon  after 
he  passed  away. 

i842]  BIRMINGHAM  17 

The  church  at  Tattenhall  had  grown  discouragingly 
empty,  in  consequence  of  Mr.  Bird's  fearless  protests 
against  Sunday  labour.  Nearly  as  much  work  was 
done  on  Sundays  as  on  week-days — not  in  the  open 
fields,  but  in  the  dairies  and  presses.  It  is  difficult 
to  understand  the  question  in  all  its  bearings,  for  it 
is  obvious  that  cows  must  be  milked  on  Sundays. 
Doubtless  Mr.  Bird  did  not  oppose  the  necessary 
work,  but  only  the  increase  of  unnecessary  work  in 
the  manufacture  of  dairy  produce  on  Sundays  which 
had  crept  in,  and  which  to  him  was  a  manifest  breach 
of  a  divine  law,  declared  by  God  Himself  to  be  the 
test  of  national  righteousness  and  the  condition  of 
national  prosperity.  Mr.  Bird's  point  of  view  was 
the  law  of  the  living  God;  but  he  was  powerless 
against  the  bidding  of  Mammon,  and  the  convicted 
farmers  left  a  church  where  there  was  no  comfortable 
doctrine  for  their  case. 

How  sad  a  leave-taking  it  must  have  been  is  borne 
in  upon  us  when  we  note  the  beauty  and  peace  of 
Tattenhall,  and  then  visit  the  parish  of  St.  Thomas's 
in  Birmingham.  The  Bishop,  too,  disapproved  of  his 
transfer ;  and  had  Mr.  Bird  not  found  absolute  trust  in 
his  decision  within  his  own  family,  the  step  might 
have  been  still  harder  to  take.  Those  faithful  to  him 
at  Tattenhall  felt  the  parting  bitterly,  and  for  many 
years  there  lived  in  the  parish  godly  men  and  women 
whom  he  had  brought  to  Christ,  and  who  were 
known  as  "Bird's  saints." 

St.  Thomas's  in  Birmingham  is  a  large,  gloomy 
church,  built  in  the  worst  possible  taste,  that  pseudo- 
classical  style,  pretentious  and  dismal,  which  Georgian 
architects  affected.  It  contrasted  painfully  with  sunny 
St.  Alban's  at  Tattenhall,  where  the  light  fell  through 
ancient  stained  glass,  and  five  cheerful  bells  called  the 



parishioners  to  worship.  St.  Thomas's  had  been 
planned  to  seat  over  two  thousand  people,  but  a 
few  hundred  formed  the  congregation  in  1843,  and 
these  were  always  shifting. 

The  city  was  then  heaving  with  the  last  throes 
of  Chartism,  and  four  years  earlier  the  rioters  had 
made  a  pause  at  St.  Thomas's  to  pull  up  the  railing 
and  arm  themselves  with  its  iron  spikes,  on  their 
march  to  wreck  Lucy's  Mills.  The  hands  were  still 
sullen,  the  employers  were  hard.  Sunday  labour  was 
more  than  permitted.  Success  was  the  one  standard 
in  Birmingham.  It  mattered  little  of  what  intrinsic 
quality  of  righteousness,  or  the  reverse,  a  man's  aims 
might  be — public  opinion  applauded,  or  blamed  their 
issue  according  to  their  success  or  failure. 

The  Birds  found  a  house  in  Frederick's  Road,  with 
a  garden  attached,  which  employed  the  old  Tattenhall 
gardener,  who  came  with  them.  It  had  some  apple- 
trees  big  enough  to  give  seats  and  shelter  to  the  little 
girls,  who  used  to  climb  into  them  and  con  their 
lessons  hidden  amongst  the  leaves. 

Mr.  Bird  began  eagerly  to  organise  his  work — the 
parish  visiting,  the  Sunday  school,  the  preaching. 
It  was  a  heavy  task.  The  parish  contained  a  popu- 
lation of  16,000,  and  the  church  was  almost  empty. 
Then,  stronger  in  Birmingham  than  in  the  grazing- 
lands  of  Cheshire,  Mammon  swayed  men's  souls. 
His  parish  was  given  over  to  Sunday  trading,  and 
the  fight  he  had  to  wage  on  the  Lord's  side  was 
with  a  very  Apollyon. 

At  first  his  preaching  produced  the  strong, 
arresting,  and  attracting  influence  which  it  had  done 
at  Maidenhead.  Men  came  from  all  parts  of  the  city 
to  hear  the  new  Rector,  amongst  them  many  working- 
men,  who,  of  all  others  there,  needed  most  the  help  of 

1843]  "ST.  THOMAS  DAYS"  19 

God  and  of  His  servants,  since  help  from  Mammon 
there  was  none.  These  he  received  on  Sunday  after- 
noons, visiting  their  wives  and  homes  through  the 
week,  spending  and  being  spent  for  the  poor.  He 
had  fellow-workers  amongst  the  Nonconformists,  with 
some  of  whom,  and  notably  with  Mr.  Angell  James, 
he  formed  cherished  friendships.  Indeed,  Mr.  Angell 
James  and  he  together  organised  the  midland  division 
of  the  Evangelical  Alliance. 

For  the  Sunday-school  staff  he  selected  his  best 
and  most  willing  members,  one  of  whom  is  still  alive 
in  Birmingham.  It  is  to  Miss  Sanders,  a  sweet  old 
ladyy  whose  joy  it  is  to  recall  those  happy  years  of 
service  for  Christ,  that  we  are  indebted  for  most 
of  these  recollections  of  St.  Thomas's.  Only  she  and 
another  are  alive  now  to  remember  Mr.  Bird. 
Young  as  Isabella  was,  she  was  pressed  into  the 
service.  Miss  Sanders  remembers  her  teaching  a 
class  of  girls  as  old  as  herself,  and  not  only  winning 
their  attention,  but  their  devotion.  It  did  not  occur 
to  them  that  their  teacher  was  too  young,  for  her  self- 
possession,  mastery  of  language,  and  clear  exposition 
gave  her  the  needed  command.  It  is  most  interesting, 
in  this  connection,  to  quote  from  a  letter  written  by 
Mrs.  Bishop  to  Miss  Sanders  at  Christmas,  1903,  less 
than  a  year  before  she  died. 

You  are  one  of  the  very  few  survivals  of  the  vividly 
remembered  St.  Thomas  days.  How  well  I  remem- 
ber you  and  your  adult  class  in  the  corner  below  the 
desk  and  the  high  opinion  which  papa  and  mama  had 
of  you.  Now,  of  my  family,  I,  a  widow,  alone  am  left. 

But  she  rendered  the  church  a  further  service. 
Her  ear  was  not  musical,  nor  did  she  greatly 
care  for  music,  but  she  was  being  taught  to  sing 


and  play,  and  she  passed  on  her  lessons  to  the 
young  people,  forming  and  training  the  choir, 
and  going  through  the  practising  with  them  every 
week,  with  unfailing  punctuality.  She  suffered  at 
this  time  from  abscesses  in  the  feet  and  had  often  to 
walk  to  and  from  the  church  in  great  pain,  but  she 
rarely  failed  either  her  Sunday-school  pupils  or 
the  choir.  Henrietta  was  not  yet  enrolled  on  the 
teaching  staff,  but  after  a  couple  of  years  she  was 
entrusted  with  some  of  the  little  ones,  whom  she 
taught  with  great  seriousnsss  and  sweetness. 

Miss  Sanders  remembers  Isabella's  calling  on  her 
in  the  midst  of  a  terrific  thunder-storm,  on  some 
Sunday-school  business,  not  to  take  shelter,  as 
she  at  first  supposed.  Often  the  elder  girl  spent 
a  day  and  sometimes  several  days  with  the  Birds, 
and  she  retains  the  sunniest  impression  of  their 
kindness,  gentleness,  and  courtesy  towards  her  and 
each  other. 

For  some  time  Mr.  Bird  had  visions  of  success 
in  his  struggle  against  Sunday  trading.  By  preaching, 
by  personal  visiting,  by  gentle  and  constant  per- 
suasion, he  got, so  far  as  to  secure  the  promises  of 
all  his  parishioners  but  two  to  give  it  up.  The 
promises  were  conditional  on  the  surrender  of  the 
two  exceptions.  It  was  evident  to  all  that  his  own 
character  and  conduct  were  not  only  blameless, 
but  absolutely  disinterested,  for  it  was  well  known 
that  he  had  requested  to  be  transferred  to  St.  Thomas's 
where  the  annual  stipend  amounted  to  £60,  from 
Tattenhall  where  he  received  £300.  Indeed,  had 
he  and  Mrs.  Bird  not  both  inherited  money  from 
their  parents,  the  transfer  would  have  been  impossible. 
But  the  two  remaining  Sunday  traders  refused  to 
close  their  shops,  and  the  law  was  brought  to  bear 

i848]  FIRST  PAMPHLET  21 

upon  them  through  one  of  the  Churchwardens,  who 
took  out  summonses  and  served  them  himself.  This 
roused  fierce  wrath  in  the  parish.  A  crowd  waylaid 
Mr.  Bird  and  pelted  him  with  stones,  mud,  and 
insults.  The  worst  was  still  to  come.  Not  only 
did  he  lose  hold  of  those  who  had  been  almost  won, 
but  many  of  the  members  whom  he  counted  as  on  the 
side  of  righteousness,  at  the  bidding  of  Mammon, 
forsook  their  Rector  and  left  the  church.  The 
bitterness  of  the  repulse  lay  in  the  fact  that  the 
very  men  and  women  whom  he  had  led  to  his 
Master  forsook  him  at  the  crisis. 

Some  time  before  this  great  trial,  he  caught  scarlet 
fever,  while  visiting,  and  brought  home  its  infection, 
for  Hennie  took  it  too ;  and  while  Mrs.  Bird  nursed 
her  husband  in  one  room,  Isabella  nursed  her  sister 
in  another  and  yet  escaped  the  fever.  So,  already 
weakened  by  illness,  the  pain  of  these  desertions 
broke  down  his  brave  resolution  and  he  was  laid 
again  on  a  bed  of  sickness.  This  illness  lasted  so 
long  that  the  doctor  urged  him  at  last  to  take  some 
months  of  complete  rest,  and  Mrs.  Bird  succeeded  in 
inducing  him  to  resign  his  charge  at  St.  Thomas's. 

In  1848  they  left  for  Eastbourne,  then  a  village 
about  a  mile  inland.  But  close  to  the  sea  there 
were  a  few  houses,  in  one  of  which  they  lodged  for 
a  time. 

Isabella  was  sixteen  years  old  at  this  time, 
and  so  matured  was  her  mind  already  that  she 
took  a  deep  interest  in  the  questions  of  Free  Trade 
versus  Protection,  which  at  that  time,  as  in  a  minor 
degree  now,  agitated  the  country,  and  before  leaving 
Birmingham  she  committed  to  writing  her  arguments 
in  favour  of  Protection.  Next  year  this  essay  was 
printed  for  private  circulation  in  Huntingdon,  and  a 


copy  of  the  little  pamphlet  has  come  into  my  hands. 
It  is  a  quaint  invective  against  Cobden  and  Bright, 
and   is    remarkable   as    coming  from    the    pen    of   a 
child :  it  takes  the  allegorical  form  of  a  trial  before 
"  Chief  Justice  Common  Sense,  Baron  Public  Opinion, 
and  a  special  jury,"  in  which  the  prisoners  Weather- 
cock and  Parvenu  were  defended    by  Mr.    Humbug 
and  Mr.  Mock-Philanthropist,  while  Messrs.  Upright 
and  Eloquence    appeared  for  the   prosecution.     The 
charges  were  on  four  counts — agitation,  dissemination 
of   poison,    uttering    lies    and    false    promises,    and 
destroying  the  agricultural  interest  and  with  it  the 
national  prosperity  of  England  ;  and  the  prisoners, 
being  eventually  found  guilty,  were  condemned  to 
be  removed  to  the  penal  settlement  of  Public  Detesta- 
tion for  fifteen  years,  and  afterwards  to  be  transported 
to  the  uninhabited  island  of  Oblivion  for  the   term 
of  their  natural  lives !    "  And,"  concluded  the  Judge, 
"I     earnestly    hope    that    in    the    solitude    which 
will    be    afforded    you,    you    may    learn    to    repent 
of   your    crimes,    though    you    cannot    repair    the 
consequences   which   they  have   entailed   upon  your 

After  two  months  at  Eastbourne,  the  Birds  settled 
for  a  further  term  of  rest  in  the  country  north  of 
London  and  close  to  Epping  Forest.  Here  Miss 
Sanders  paid  them  a  visit,  which  she  still  vividly 
remembers.  They  were  mourning  the  death  of  their 
grandmother  at  Taplow  Hill,  an  event  which  practi- 
cally ended  their  connection  with  that  beloved  home. 
For  Mr.  Merttins  Bird,  of  Barton,  whose  first  wife 
died  in  India,  and  whose  second  wife,  Jane  Wilber- 
force  Bird,  passed  away  shortly  after  marriage,  took 
as  his  third  wife  Henrietta  Grenfell,  a  daughter  of 
his  neighbour  Mr.  Pascoe  Grenfell  of  Taplow  House. 

1848]  WYTON  23 

She  not  only  survived  him,  but  lived  on  till  1897,  a 
shrewd  and  witty  old  lady,  interested  in  the  gener- 
ations of  Birds,  to  whom  she  was  step-mother,  step- 
grandmother  and  step-greatgrandmother.  From 
the  time  of  his  third  marriage,  Mr.  Merttins  Bird 
gave  up  Taplow  Hill,  and  the  family  removed  to 
Torquay.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  amongst  her 
brothers-in-law  Mrs.  Merttins  Bird  counted  Charles 
Kingsley,  J.  Anthony  Froude,  and  Lord  Wolverton, 
and  that  one  of  her  nieces  married  Professor  Max 

While  Miss  Sanders  was  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bird 
at  Epping  Forest,  Mr.  Merttins  Bird  came  to  pay 
them  a  visit,  and  she  records  her  own  shyness  of 
the  "big  Bird,"  who  proved  to  be  both  kind  and 
peaceable,  distinguished  nabob  though  he  was. 

In  the  autumn  of  1848  Lady  Olivia  Sparrow 
presented  Mr.  Bird  to  the  living  of  Wyton  in 

This  was  a  small  parish,  less  than  two  thousand 
acres  in  extent,  with  a  population  of  scarcely  three 
hundred  souls.  The  village  is  on  the  Ouse,  and 
to  the  west  some  three  miles  off  is  the  town  of 
Huntingdon.  South-east  lies  St.  Ives,  two  miles 
away.  Not  very  far  off  is  Olney,  the  poet  Cowper's 
home.  There  were  rides  and  drives  for  Mr.  Bird 
and  his  daughters,  and  the  river  on  which  to  boat, 
and  there  Mrs.  Bishop  acquired  her  skill  in  rowing. 
The  cure  included  Houghton,  and  the  stipend  was 
good.  Wyton  itself  had  its  literary  and  political 
associations.  Home  Tooke  lived  there  for  years,  and 
towards  the  close  of  the  foregoing  century  Charles 
James  Fox  had  been  married  at  St.  Margaret's 
Church,  which  now  became  the  centre  of  Mr.  Bird's 
duties  for  the  remaining  decade  of  his  life. 


These  years  were  to  be  eventful  for  Isabella,  in 
many  ways.  It  was  at  Wyton  that  a  new  influence 
roused  her  to  the  sense  that  she  was  growing  old 
enough  to  be  morally  responsible  for  what  use  she 
made  of  her  time,  her  powers,  her  character.  This 
was  her  friendship  with  a  girl  of  her  own  age,  Lady 
Jane  Hay,  now  Lady  Jane  Taylor,  a  daughter  of  the 
Marquess  of  Tweeddale  and  a  niece  of  Lady  Olivia 

Isabella's  duties  had  hitherto  been  based  on  the 
exigencies  of  home  and  parochial  life,  and  in  spite 
of  her  great  delicacy  she  had  risen  to  their  fulfilment. 
She  had  not  yet  realised  that  even  a  girl  may  so 
swa}'  circumstances  as  to  improve  them,  may  garner 
her  observations  as  seed  to  be  sown  in  the  good 
ground  of  effort  to  help  the  destinies  of  a  larger 
humanity  than  that  within  the  parish. 

This  friendship  aroused  that  part  of  her  higher 
nature  which  had  slumbered  in  inexperience.  It 
called  into  being  the  enthusiasm  for  others  latent 
in  her  Wilberforce  blood.  This  never  afterwards 
failed  her  in  dealing  with  the  men  and  women  she 
met,  whether  they  were  friends,  or  merely  the  casual 
acquaintances  of  a  journey  by  land  or  water,  whether 
they  were  her  own  people  among  whom  she  dwelt, 
or  the  peoples,  civilised  and  savage,  amongst  whom 
she  sojourned  for  a  day  or  a  week,  ere  she  left 
their  cities  or  their  tents  for  ever.  On  her  death- 
bed she  cried  aloud,  "  If  I  could  only  do  something 
more  for  them  ! " 

But  in  1850,  when  she  was  eighteen  years  old, 
her  malady  had  become  so  serious  that  an  opera- 
tion was  necessary.  Just  before  this  took  place, 
her  parents  took  her  and  Henrietta  to  visit  the 
Rev.  John  Lawson,  Mrs.  Bird's  brother,  at  Seaton 

i8so]  THE  WEST   HIGHLANDS  25 

Carew,  and  her  cousins  still  remember  how  ill  she 
looked.  Of  the  operation  itself  no  record  remains, 
beyond  the  fact  that  a  fibrous  tumour  was  removed 
from  the  neighbourhood  of  the  spine.  In  after 
years  she  was  subject  to  long  periods  of  suffering 
in  that  region  of  her  back. 

It  is  possible  that  the  low  grounds  of  Wyton,  and 
the  river  with  its  overflows  and  mists,  may  have 
accelerated  the  crisis.  It  is  certain  that  after  this 
she  was  ordered  to  leave  home  for  lengthened 
periods,  and  that  her  father  began  in  the  summer 
of  1850  a  practice  which  lasted  for  years,  and  intro- 
duced her  to  a  part  of  Scotland  that  charmed  her 
from  the  beginning,  and  for  which  she  maintained 
a  loyal  affection  to  the  end. 

During  six  successive  summers  the  Birds  spent  a 
number  of  weeks  in  the  Scottish  Highlands,  in  Inver- 
ness-shire, Ross-shire,  and,  ever  more  attracted  to 
the  west,  in  Skye,  Raasay,  Harris,  and  Mull.  Isabella 
was  with  her  family  on  all  but  one  of  these  occasions, 
the  exception  being  the  summer  of  1854,  when  she 
had  her  first  opportunity  of  going  to  America. 

To    Mr.    Bird    the    strict    Sunday    observance    in 

»  Scotland,  and  especially  in  Free  Church  Scotland, 
immediately  after  the  Disruption,  was  most  sym- 
pathetic. "  He  loved  Scotland,"  says  his  daughter, 
"not  more  for  its  beauty  than  for  its  hallowed 
Sabbaths  and  Christian  zeal  and  for  the  love  with 
which  he  was  ever  welcomed  by  his  Presbyterian 
brethren."  The  "  larger  mind  "  which  had  made  him 
draw  close  the  bonds  of  Christian  union  between 
himself  and  his  Nonconformist  fellow-workers  in 
Birmingham  brought  him  into  like  relationships  and 
communion  with  the  first  Free  Church  pastors — 
that  band  of  men  nerved  and  inspired  by  the  Holy 


Spirit,  taught  and  empowered  of  God,  They 
opened  their  pulpit  doors  to  the  faithful  servant  of 
their  own  Master,  and  he  preached  in  many  of  their 
churches,  in  Inverness  and  Ross-shire,  in  Skye,  in 
Renfrew,  and  elsewhere.  Wherever  he  went  he 
found  Sunday  a  hallowed  day.  He  fought  in  England 
thirty  years  for  its  consecration.  He  was  an  active 
member  of  the  Metropolitan  Commission,  and 
attended  its  meetings  in  London  twice  weekly.  He 
had  suffered  persecution  and  desertion  for  its  sake ; 
his  health  had  been  broken  and  two  livings  had 
been  resigned  in  his  conflict  with  Sunday  trading. 
It  is  no  wonder  that  his  attachment  to  the  Scotland 
of  1850  was  very  strong. 



FROM  time  to  time  Isabella  Bird  stayed  with  both 
the  Bishop  of  Chester  and  the  Bishop  of  Winchester, 
who,  when  in  London,  lived  in  Winchester  House, 
St.  James's  Square.  In  1852,  probably  in  late  autumn, 
she  paid  her  cousins  there  a  visit,  and  on  her  way 
met  with  an  adventure,  her  action  in  which  illustrates 
the  rapidity  and  courage  with  which  she  faced  the 

She  had  taken  a  cab  from  the  railway  station, 
and  while  driving  out  of  the  gate  received  on  her 
lap  a  small  parcel  of  advertisements,  which,  as  was 
usual  then,  was  thrown  in  at  the  open  window. 
Putting  it  on  the  seat  in  front  of  her,  she  noticed 
another  parcel  lying,  evidently  left  by  the  former 
"  fare."  She  opened  it,  and  found  papers  inside 
giving  details  of  a  plot  to  assassinate  a  member  of 
the  Cabinet  at  the  approaching  funeral  of  the  Duke 
of  Wellington.  She  had  scarcely  put  them  into  her 
pocket,  when  she  heard  a  voice  stopping  the  cab, 
and  a  dark,  foreign-looking  man  addressed  her  at 
the  window.  He  asked  if  a  parcel  had  been  found 
in  the  cab.  At  once  she  handed  to  him  the  little 
bundle  of  advertisements,  and  after  a  minute's 
progress  bade  the  driver  hasten  to  the  Home  Office, 
where  she  insisted  upon  seeing  the  minister,  in 
whose  hands  she  placed  the  papers.  So  serious  did 


the  matter  appear  to  the  Home  Office  that,  while 
she  remained  in  Winchester  House,  a  detective  was 
posted  there  to  guard  her  against  the  vengeance  of 
those  whose  plans  she  had  frustrated. 

Some  sorrow,  over  which  she  brooded  in  the 
early  fifties,  was  sapping  her  nervous  strength, 
already  impaired  by  the  operation.  Her  health  was 
far  from  satisfactory.  It  seemed  as  if  quiescence 
so  depressed  her  vitality  that  even  the  delightful 
months  in  Skye  and  Ross-shire  failed  to  replenish 
its  exhausted  stores.  Ever  as  spring  returned,  the 
old  lassitude  came  with  it,  and  in  the  relaxing  air  of 
Wyton  she  was  able  for  little  beyond  her  literary 
work,  her  chemical  studies,  and  needle-work,  all  of 
which  were  possible  in  a  semi-recumbent  position. 
One  effect,  as  well  as  cause,  of  this  condition  was 
sleeplessness,  and  no  means  taken  to  overcome  it 
proved  successful.  A  brief  stay  at  Portsmouth 
hardly  broke  the  habit  of  insomnia.  But  it  supplied 
material  for  two  papers  in  The  Leisure  Hour,  as 
well  as  for  lively  letters  home,  which  were  afterwards 
printed  in  pamphlet  form  and  sold  to  help  her  fund 
for  aiding  the  West  Highlanders.  This  pamphlet  is 
forgotten  now,  but  it  described  Portsmouth  in  March, 
1854,  when  the  sad  Crimean  War  had  become  inevit- 
able, and  when  Sir  Charles  Napier  was  starting  on  his 
fruitless  cruise  to  the  Baltic.  Miss  Bird  saw  Queen 
Victoria  receive  him  on  board  the  Fairy  and  bid 
him  and  the  fleet  God-speed. 

The  doctor  urged  a  sea-voyage,  and  in  the  early 
summer  of  1854  an  opportunity  occurred  for  carrying 
out  his  prescription.  One  of  Mr.  Bird's  numerous 
cousins  had  married  Captain  Swabey,  a  veteran  of 
the  Peninsular  War,  who,  after  Waterloo,  had  been 
sent  to  Prince  Edward's  Island  to  superintend  the 

i854]  IN  AMERICA  29 

defences  there.  His  daughters  were  in  England  and 
were  about  to  return  to  their  parents,  and  it  was 
arranged  that  Isabella  should  accompany  them,  and 
make  use  of  the  occasion  to  extend  her  travels  to 
Canada  and  as  much  of  America  as  was  possible. 
Mr.  Bird  gave  her  £100  and  leave  to  stay  away  as 
long  as  it  lasted.  At  his  request,  Mr.  McFie  saw 
her  off  on  a  Saturday  morning  in  June. 

Her  cabin  had  been  taken  in  the  Canada,  a  royal 
mail  steamer  of  the  Cunard  line.  Its  destination 
was  first  Halifax,  in  Nova  Scotia,  and  then  Boston. 
As  the  steamer  left  the  Mersey  she  passed  close  to 
the  troopship  Himalaya,  in  which  the  Scots  Greys 
were  embarking  for  the  Crimea-—1 4  the  lions  led  by 
asses,"  who  were  to  be  shot  down  at  Balaklava. 

The  voyage  to  Halifax  was  uneventful,  through 
a  succesion  of  calms,  with  neither  icebergs  nor  fogs 
to  lend  it  a  tremor.  Miss  Bird  proved  to  be  an 
excellent  sailor,  enjoyed  her  meals,  and  observed 
her  fellow  passengers.  Only  twenty  of  these  were 
English ;  the  others,  numbering  a  hundred  and  fifty, 
came  from  almost  every  European  country.  She 
and  her  cousins  landed  at  Halifax,  and  spent  two 
days  there.  Then,  taking  the  stage-coach,  they 
were  jolted  over  corduroy  roads  to  Truro  and 
Pictou.  At  Truro  Miss  Bird  found  a  delightful  old 
Highland  woman,  Nancy  Stewart  of  the  mountain, 
who  gave  the  stage-passengers  tea,  and  who 
responded  joyfully  to  Isabella's  greeting  in  Gaelic. 
Then  they  passed  through  a  forest  belonging  to  the 
Indians,  where  silence  reigned  and  expectant  thrills 
died  away  ungratified  by  adventures. 

When  they  reached  Charlotte  Town  they  were 
met  by  Captain  Swabey,  who  insisted  on  Isabella's 
staying  six  weeks  at  his  house,  as  Canada  and  the 


States  were  in  the  grip  of  cholera.  Her  report  of 
Prince  Edward's  Island  is  not  attractive :  quarrels, 
gossip,  and  mutual  detraction  characterised  its  social 
life.  Still  she  found  congenial  friends,  with  whom 
she  made  a  tour  of  the  island,  its  pleasantest 
incident  being  the  discovery  of  a  Skye  man  called 
Donnuil  Dhu,  with  whom  she  had  comforting  talk 
of  the  Cuchullins  and  Loch  Coruisk. 

It  must  have  been  August  when  she  left  for 
Boston  by  steamer  and  coach,  succeeded  by  steamer 
and  train,  a  comfortless,  solitary  journey,  only  re- 
deemed by  the  great  kindness  shown  to  her  by  her 
American  fellow  passengers.  She  saw  nothing  of 
Boston  at  this  time,  leaving  after  two  days'  rest  for 
Cincinnati,  where  she  was  Bishop  Mcllvaine's  guest, 
and  where  she  learned  much  of  the  working  of 
slavery  in  the  Southern  States  from  her  host,  and 
of  the  anxiety  caused  by  Mrs.  Beecher  Stowe's  Uncle 
Tom's  Cabin,  just  published,  which  it  was  feared  by 
the  friends  of  emancipation  would  retard  rather  than 
advance  their  cause. 

From  Cincinnati  she  crossed  the  prairies  to  Chicago, 
refreshed  by  the  beauty  of  those  "  gardens  of  God," 
where  great  bands  of  colour  marked  the  various 
prairie-flowers — lilies,  helianthus,  cineraria,  lupin,  and 
euphorbia.  The  train,  heedless  of  time-tables,  came 
to  an  abrupt  pause  in  their  midst,  and  she  had  five 
hours  of  rest ;  then  it  went  on  to  Rock  Island, 
where  she  embarked  on  board  a  Mississippi  steamer 
for  the  mere  sensation  of  a  three  miles'  cruise  and 
back  on  the  great  river.  It  was  in  the  train  between 
Rock  Island  and  Chicago  that  the  famous  pick-pocket 
incident  took  place,  one  in  which  her  self-possession 
matched  the  courage  with  which  she  had  thwarted 
a  cowardly  political  assassination.  A  most  unpre- 

i854]  CANADA  31 

possessing  man  sat  next  to  her  in  the  car.  She 
felt  his  hand  in  her  pocket  abstracting  her  purse, 
in  which  there  was  only  enough  money  for  petty 
travelling  needs,  but  which  contained  her  luggage 
checks.  She  sat  passive,  giving  no  indication  of  her 
loss  till  the  luggage  checks  were  being  collected. 
When  the  official  reached  her,  she  bowed  politely 
towards  her  neighbour  and  said,  "  This  gentleman 
has  my  checks ! "  and  he  was  startled  into  giving 
them  up. 

Chicago  interested  her  deeply.     Her  description  is 
a  striking  picture  of   the  great  western   capital  in 
making  fifty  years  ago.     But  she  could  not  complete 
her  observations,   as  friends  were    to    meet  her  at 
Toronto,  and  she  had  to  travel  by  rail  and  steamer 
twice  over  to  keep  her  appointment.    On  the  way 
she  halted  at  Detroit,  which  pleased  her.     Her  friends 
duly  met,  she  settled  down  to  a  thorough  explora- 
tion of  Toronto,  noting  the  difference  between  the 
method  of  its  growth  and  the  sudden  upheaval  of 
big  American  cities,  where  recently  was  prairie,  or 
forest,  or  mighty  lake,  and  where  a  short  time  ago 
only  the  red  hunter  crossed  the  solitude  to  set  his 
traps  or  launch  his  canoe.     Stable  progress  marked 
the    Canadian,    as    sudden    growth    and    expansion 
marked  the  newer  American   cities ;    and   while   in 
Canada,    streets,    buildings,    and    institutions    were 
not  only  completed  but  had  acquired  a  settled  and 
harmonious    dignity— in    the    others,   roads,    streets, 
buildings,  and  undertakings  were  all  unfinished,  and 
the    founders    seemed    callous    to    their    disorderly 

Two  excursions  from  Toronto  varied  her  study  of 
its  civic  conditions.  One  was  a  visit  to  the  pleasant 
city  of  Hamilton,  built  on  Burlington  Bay.  Her 


voyage  thither,  short  as  it  was,  included  a  sudden 
storm  ;  the  side  of  the  saloon  was  struck  and  shat- 
tered by  a  colossal  wave,  and  she  was  thrown  down 
into  the  water,  a  man  near  her  having  seized  a  life- 
buoy out  of  her  hands.  For  a  few  seconds  she  was 
in  the  first  stage  of  drowning,  and  her  thoughts 
flashed  back  to  the  dear  ones  at  home  with  a  pang  for 
their  grief  when  they  heard  the  news.  But,  happily, 
another  wave  floated  her  back  and  into  a  state- 
room, and  soon  the  steamer  righted  itself.  It  was 
a  dread  experience,  and  prompted  her  to  vow  that 
she  would  never  again  venture  on  Lake  Ontario — a 
melancholy  expanse  of  water  at  the  best,  and  subject 
to  accesses  of  fury. 

However,  a  few  days  later  she  took  the  s.s.  Arabian 
back,  and  was  met  on  Toronto  Pier  by  Mr.  Forrest, 
who  had  invited  her  to  pay  his  family  a  visit  in  the 
backwoods,  where  her  imagination  had  been  busy  with 
visions  of  a  clearing,  a  lumber-waggon,  a  log-hut,  and 
all  the  primitive  contrivances  due  to  such  a  home 
so  carefully  provided  in  fiction.     So,  when  a  smart 
mail-phaeton  painted  scarlet  and  black  and  drawn  by 
a  pair  of  perfectly  groomed  horses  awaited  her  host 
and  herself  at  the  hotel,  she  was  taken  aback  and  had 
to  control  her  surprise.    There  were  twenty-two  miles 
to  drive,  some  of  them   bad,  but  much   of  the  way 
excellent  plank  road,  easier  for  draught  than  a  high 
road.     It  was  now   the   Canadian   autumn,  and  the 
tints   were   glorious — scarlet,    crimson,    orange,    and 
purple.     They    drove    through    forest,     scrub,     and 
cedar-swamp,  then  past  a  little  whitewashed  English 
church,  into  a  field  and  along  an  apple-tree  approach, 
up  to  a  beautiful  brick  house  surrounded  by  a  green 
verandah  and   embowered  in  richly  laden  fruit-trees 
and  flaming  sumachs.     When  Mrs.  Forrest  appeared 

,854]  THE  BACKWOODS  33 

to  welcome  her,  clad  in  pink  and  white  muslin,  and 
took  her  through  a  hall  floored  with  polished  oak  into 
a  large  and  beautiful  drawing-room,  Miss  Bird  cast 
her  preconceptions  of  backwoods  life  away,  and  com- 
posed a  new  theory  of  the  lumber-man  who  drove  a 
mail-phaeton,  listened  to  Beethoven  well  played  on 
the  piano  every  evening,  and  slept  on  a  feather-bed  ! 

Her  visit  to  the  Forrests  was  altogether  delightful, 
and  she  shared  the  whole  round  of  Canadian  country- 
life,  including  the  neighbourly  "bee,"  which  at  that 
season  was  a  "  thrashing-bee."  Mr.  Forrest  took  her 
for  long  and  adventurous  rides,  roadless  scrambles 
through  the  bush,  and  gallops  along  the  shore  of 
Lake  Ontario. 

Quite  a  month  was  spent  after  this  pleasant  fashion, 
and  in  its  course  several  Sundays  at  both  Presbyterian 
and  Episcopalian  churches.  "  Are  ye  frae  the  braes 
o'  Gleneffer  ? "  said  an  old  Scotchwoman  to  her  one 
day;  "  were  ye  at  oor  kirk  o'  Sabbath  last,  ye  wadna5 
ken  the  differ." 

But  the  time  came  for  her  return  to  Toronto,  and 
then  further  east,  taking  Niagara  on  the  way.  She 
devoted  many  pages  of  her  letters  home  to  this  last 
experience,  which  she  "did"  to  the  bitter  end,  to 
Termination  Rock,  "  230  ft.  behind  the  Great  Horse- 
shoe Fall,"  as  was  stated  on  her  certificate,  although 
a  fellow  traveller  damped  her  elation  by  calling  the 
document  "  an  almighty,  all-fired  big  flam." 

The  Arabian  took  her  down  the  St.  Lawrence  as 
far  as  the  Thousand  Islands,  where,  at  five  in  the 
morning,  she  had  to  change  into  the  New  Era.  In 
this  steamer  she  cruised  amongst  the  islands.  They 
anchored  before  La  Chine  and  shot  the  rapids  at 
a  rate  of  twenty-five  miles  an  hour  next  morning 
when  it  was  daylight,  and  so  reached  Montreal. 



Here  Miss  Bird  stayed  a  few  days  with  the  Bishop, 
before  she  resumed  her  voyage  down  the  great  river 
to  Quebec.  She  had  only  two  letters  of  introduction 
to  residents  in  the  capital,  one  of  them  to  Lord  Elgin, 
the  Governor-General,  whose  secretary  was  Lawrence 

Cholera  had  quitted  the  city  less  than  two  months 
before  she  entered  it;  but  many  desolated  homes 
indicated  its  ravages.  It  was  strange  that,  while  still 
agitated  and  tremulous,  society  in  Quebec  whirled 
in  a  round  of  balls,  receptions,  sleigh-drives,  and 
toboggan-parties.  To  most  of  these  Miss  Bird  was 
invited  along  with  her  friends  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Alderson, 
and  up  to  a  certain  point  she  enjoyed  the  experience. 
But  her  sense  that  a  gaunt  spectre  still  hovered  near, 
and  the  contrast  between  the  awful  poverty  of  St.  Roch, 
where  lived  the  lapsed  thousands  in  squalor  and  vice 
— almost  more  brutal  than  the  dwellers  in  a  London 
slum — and  this  brilliant  circle  of  pleasure-seekers, 
indelibly  impressed  her  sensitive  mind. 

A  visit  to  Spencer  Wood,  Lord  Elgin's  headquarters, 
was  much  spoilt  by  an  attack  of  something  very  like 
cholera,  probably  contracted  at  St.  Roch.  It  was 
called  ague,  but  its  effects  lasted  several  weeks. 
Her  second  introduction  was  to  the  Honorable  John 
Ross  and  his  wife,  who  not  only  made  her  stay  socially 
pleasant,  but  most  profitable,  on  account  of  the 
useful  and  precise  information  of  which  she  was  in 
search  and  with  which  they  were  able  to  provide  her. 
Mr.  Ross  was  President  of  the  Legislative  Council, 
and  knew  all  that  her  thirst  for  general  and  particular 
statistics  desired,  and  she  made  notes  of  political, 
ecclesiastical,  educational,  industrial,  and  economic 
matters  in  most  favourable  circumstances  while  in 
his  house. 

i854]  RETURN  TO  WYTON  35 

One  of  her  most  interesting  new  acquaintances  was 
Dr.  Mountain,  the  Protestant  Bishop  of  Quebec; 
famous  for  his  arduous  journeys  to  the  Red  River 
Settlements  in  a  canoe,  for  the  purpose  of  confirming 
846  Indian  converts,  and  ordaining  two  of  their 

The  year  was  growing  late  when  Miss  Bird 
returned  to  Montreal,  where  she  stayed  again  with 
the  Bishop,  quitting  the  See  House  regretfully  for 
New  York,  which  she  reached  in  a  series  of  tedious 

There,  and  in  Boston,  she  lingered  until  the  waning 
of  her  travelling  finances  suggested  home.  Intro- 
ductions from  her  Canadian  friends  procured  her 
influential  social  privileges,  and  she  recorded  with 
warm  appreciation  all  that  she  enjoyed  and  gained  in 
the  two  great  American  cities. 

It  was  arranged  that  she  should  return  to  Halifax 
in  the  Cunard  steamer  America  to  join  seven  of  her 
relatives,  the  Swabeys,  bent  on  going  back  to 
England,  so  that  her  homeward  voyage  was  in 
pleasant  company  and  was  uneventful.  She  reached 
her  home  after  seven  months'  absence,  with  £10  of 
the  original  £100  in  her  pocket— better  in  health, 
full  of  animation,  and  devoutly  thankful  to  be  once 
more  with  her  parents  and  sister  in  the  peaceful 
rectory  of  Wyton. 

In  1854,  during  her  absence,  the  parish  of 
Houghton-cum-Wyton  received  a  new  resident,  who 
became  an  intimate  friend  of  the  family  at  Wyton 
Rectory.  This  was  Mrs.  George  Brown,  of  The 
Elms,  and  to  her  we  owe  the  following  reminiscences 
of  Isabella  Bird's  home  and  occupations  during  the 
remaining  years  of  the  fifties. 

Mrs.  Brown  writes: 


Wyton  Rectory,  a  roomy,  gabled  house  of  grey 
brick,  was  pleasantly  situated  amongst  fine  old  trees, 
in  which  the  rooks  built  year  after  year,  and  surrounded 
by  green  pastures  bordering  the  broad  River  Ouse, 
which  flows  quietly  in  its  fulness  within  a  short  distance 
of  the  house.  A  piece  of  water  fed  by  the  river  formed 
a  tiny  lake  close  to  the  rectory.  At  that  time  Henrietta 
was  my  friend,  but  I  became  acquainted  with  Isabella 
soon  after  her  return  from  America.  I  remember  her 
favourite  outdoor  occupations  then  were  riding  and 
rowing,  and  we  used  often  to  meet  along  the  roads 
and  on  the  river.  The  roads  had  broad  margins  of 
grass,  which  favoured  a  pleasant  gallop,  and  the 
waters  of  moat  and  river  made  boating  especially 
delightful.  Isabella  was  a  fearless  horsewoman,  and 
would  mount  any  horse,  however  spirited.  In  later 
years,  when  visiting  at  our  house,  she  more  than  once 
rode  a  horse  which  no  lady  had  mounted  before,  and 
she  seemed  to  enjoy  it  all  the  more. 

When  she  came  home  from  America,  she  occu- 
pied herself  on  the  book,  afterwards  published  by 
Mr.  Murray.  It  was  her  wont  to  write  by  night, 
which  occasioned  encroachment  on  the  hours  of  the 
next  day  for  needed  rest  and  sleep;  and  this  habit, 
so  early  formed,  lasted  throughout  her  subsequent 
literary  undertakings.  Many  friendships  were  made 
with  families  in  neighbouring  rectories,  and  the 
coachman,  who  is  still  alive,  remembers  the  rides  he 
took  with  his  young  mistress  to  visit  them. 

The  ride  most  frequently  taken  was  to  Brampton 
Park,  where  Lady  Olivia  Sparrow  lived,  a  warm, 
kind  friend  of  Isabella's.  This  venerable  lady  took 
a  motherly  interest  in  her  young  neighbour,  whose 
courage,  energy,  and  studiousness  were  in  harmony 
with  her  own  active  nature.  They  were  fast  friends. 
Isabella  had  long  periods  of  spinal  suffering,  after 
which  she  would  brace  herself  to  exercise.  Reso- 
lution, courage,  endurance,  the  love  of  adventure, 

From  a  picture  by  Ricliard  Buckner,  engraved  by  William  Walker,  1854. 

i855]  FIRST  BOOK  37 

the  power  of  overcoming  difficulties,  all  characterised 
her  in  those  young  days,  as  they  did  to  the  end. 
Her  friends  realised  that  she  would  always  carry 
through  her  own  ideas  of  what  was  best,  and  embody 
them  in  action  when  and  how  she  deemed  suitable. 

Her  family  had  carefully  preserved  all  her  letters ; 
and  in  her  note-books  were  statistics  and  deductions 
most  studiously  collected  and  recorded.  Her  father 
urged  her  to  revise  these  ample  materials  and  give 
them  literary  form.  With  this  task  she  was  occupied 
during  five  months  of  1855.  It  was  not  difficult;  for 
the  letters  narrated  every  day's  doings  and  impres- 
sions, and  were  full  of  vivacious  description.  Besides, 
she  loved  writing  for  its  own  sake,  and  use  and  study 
had  developed  her  natural  facility  of  expression. 
Even  in  ordinary  conversation  her  sentences  came  so 
finely  constructed  that  each  might  have  been  com- 
mitted to  print  as  it  fell;  and  the  habit  of  business 
correspondence,  begun  in  her  work  for  the  West 
Highlanders,  her  early  papers  for  magazines,  and 
her  full  diaries  and  notes  on  the  summer  visits 
to  Scotland,  were  in  her  case  training  sufficient 
for  the  author's  craft.  Indeed,  the  articles  already 
referred  to  were  noticeable  in  respect  of  style  and 

In  June,  1855,  she  met  at  Winchester  House  Mn 
John  Milford,  the  author  of  travels  in  Norway  and 
Spain,  whose  books  were  published  by  Mr.  John 
Murray.  He  was  attracted  by  her  vivacious  account 
of  her  recent  adventures,  and  she  confided  to  him 
her  desire  to  find  a  publisher  for  the  now  completed 
manuscript,  part  of  which  had  been  sent  to  a  Canadian 
man  of  letters  for  corroboration  and  correction. 

Mr.  Milford  read  some  of  its  chapters,  and  offered 
to  introduce  her  to  Mr.  John  Murray,  of  Albemarle 


Street.  This  was  done  at  once,  but  it  was  not  till 
October  i  that  she  ventured  to  send  her  work  to 
the  famous  publisher,  and  to  write  to  him  herself. 
Her  letter  illustrates  the  modesty  which  distinguished 
her  literary  career  from  first  to  last,  an  integral 
element  of  her  character. 
She  wrote : 

I  have  prepared  for  the  press  some  travels  in  the 
United  States,  Canada,  and  the  Eastern  Colonies  in 
North  America,  taken  in  the  summer,  autumn,  and 
winter  of  last  year.  The  title  is,  The  Car  and  the 
Steamboat,  and  I,  or  rather  some  literary  friends 
whom  I  have  consulted,  think  that  there  is  sufficient 
of  novelty  in  them  to  justify  their  publication. 

This  was  the  beginning  of  a  correspondence  and 
a  friendship  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Murray,  and  with 
their  son,  which  lasted  almost  half  a  century. 

Mr.  Murray  accepted  the  manuscript,  but  objected 
to  its  title,  and  suggested  in  preference  The  English- 
woman in  America ;  and  although  Miss  Bird  scarcely 
liked  the  change,  considering  it  too  pretentious  for 
a  young  authoress,  she  deferred  to  his  judgment  in 
the  matter,  for  her  own  "inventive  genius  failed." 

By  November,  the  printing  of  her  book  had  well 
begun,  and  she  was  correcting  proofs  most  of  that 
and  of  the  following  month.  The  Englishwoman  in 
America  appeared  in  January,  1856,  and  the  edition 
was  very  soon  exhausted.  She  ordered  forty-five 
copies  for  herself  at  trade  prices,  and  this  led  to  a 
correspondence  upon  booksellers'  rights. 

No  [she  wrote],  I  certainly  will  not  undersell 
the  booksellers.  These  forty-five  copies  have  been 
ordered  from  me  by  friends  in  Ross-shire  and  Skye, 
who  are  two  hundred  and  fifty  miles  from  the 
nearest  bookseller,  and  whose  means  of  communication 
with  the  civilised  world  are  very  few  and  far  between. 


A  yacht  belonging  to  a  friend  is  shortly  going  to 
those  northern  regions,  which  will  convey  all  the 

Her  book  was  shortly  followed  by  one  written  by  a 
Miss  Murray,  in  no  way  related  to  her  friend  and  pub- 
lisher, who  was  one  of  her  fellow  passengers  on  the 
Canada.  This  lady  went  to  America  with  the  avowed 
intention  of  writing  a  book.  She  took  so  perverted  a 
view  of  the  slavery  question  that  a  Virginian  slave- 
owner said  it  would  be  quite  worth  while  to  pension 
her,  for  the  principal  anti-slavery  pressure  was  pro- 
duced by  the  state  of  public  feeling  in  England  on 
the  subject.  He  did  not,  however,  put  his  passing 
reflection  into  substantial  practice,  and  Miss  Murray's 
views  lost  her  the  appointment  held  prior  to  her 

Very  soon  both  daily  and  weekly  journals  were 
busy  with  Miss  Bird's  book.  She  was  in  London 
when  the  Times  eulogy  appeared,  and  on  her  return 
to  Wyton  she  received  four  Canadian  papers  all 
containing  favourable  reviews  of  The  Englishwoman 
in  America  and  quoting  from  her  account  of  Canada. 
On  the  day  that  these  were  issued  in  Toronto,  a 
bookseller  there  received  over  fifty  applications  for 
copies,  and  arrangements  were  made  with  Mr.  Murray 
to  supply  this  demand.  Even  in  America,  where 
her  strictures  on  slavery  could  not  be  entirely 
welcome,  the  book  found  many  appreciative  readers, 
one  of  whom  sent  her  a  beautiful  carbuncle  bracelet 
as  a  tribute  of  his  admiration  for  the  justice  which 
she  had  done  to  his  country. 

11 1  am  vain  enough,"  she  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray, 
"to  think  that  I  have  every  reason  to  be  satisfied 
with  its  success  and  with  the  favourable  general 
criticism  it  has  met  with." 


Substantial  cheques  from  her  publisher  endorsed 
the  literary  verdict,  and  these  helped  her  to  carry 
out  a  scheme  for  the  benefit  of  West  Highland  fisher- 
folk  which  had  occupied  her  thoughts  for  some 
years  and  towards  which  some  of  her  friends  con- 
tributed. This  was  the  provision  of  deep-sea  fishing- 
boats  for  the  men  in  Skye,  Ross-shire,  lona,  and 
Mull,  districts  where  poverty  had  stultified  enterprise. 

Her  affection  for  the  Highlanders  and  Islanders, 
whose  kindliness  and  deep  religious  convictions 
half  a  century  ago  won  the  sympathetic  regard  of 
their  visitors  from  the  south,  prompted  these  efforts 
on  their  behalf.  She  was  in  the  Highlands  during 
three  summer  months  of  1855  engaged  in  this  phil- 
anthropic experiment,  and  spent  September  at  Balma- 
carra  House,  whence  she  went  to  Broadford  in  Skye, 
remote  and  desolate,  for  the  route  had  not  yet  been 
fully  opened  by  Messrs.  Hutcheson,  whose  Clansman 
and  Clydesdale  alone  ploughed  the  stormy  northern 
waves.  When  the  steamer  brought  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Bird  and  their  daughters  and  lowered  them  into  the 
boat,  the  shore  would  be  lined  with  men  and  women 
who  rushed  into  the  sea  to  drag  their  boat  up  on 
the  beach  and  to  shake  their  hands  again  and  again 
with  warm  Gaelic  greetings  and  inquiries.  Long 
afterwards  Miss  Bird  talked  of  those  heart-stirring 
welcomes  with  tender  retrospection  as  of  golden 
moments  in  the  past,  for  she  felt  the  pathos  of  that 
dear  Celtic  remnant,  unspoilt  then  by  the  vulgar 
south — in  touch  with  a  mystical  world,  where  past 
and  future  reached  out  into  the  unseen ;  where  the 
present  was  toil  and  sorrow,  brief  rapture  and  long 
pain,  but  all  beneath  the  Father's  guiding  eye—not 
soiled  with  materialism  and  made  sordid  by  unbelief, 
but  in  both  gloom  and  gleam  spiritualised  by  the 

i8s6]  THE  WEST  HIGHLANDS  41 

presence  at  all  points  of  God — in  the  wind  and  in 
the  wave,  on  the  mountain-top  and  on  the  moor. 
For  even  their  crimes  were  the  outcome  of  a  sort  of 
loftiness,  the  daring  treachery,  the  fierce  revenge, 
the  insult,  the  swelling  boast,  the  wrath  and  its  swift 
violence.  Children  were  they  and  lovable  as  children : 
in  their  fantastic  terrors  and  superstitions  pagan 
as  children ;  in  their  affection  and  loyalty  spontaneous 
as  children;  in  their  faith  simple  as  children.  No 
wonder  that  this  gifted  and  understanding  woman 
was  drawn  to  the  unspoilt  Gaels,  any  one  of  whom 
would  have  given  his  life  to  save  or  prosper  hers. 

"  You  should  visit  these  wild  West  Highlands,"  she 
wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  :  "  the  air  is  so  pure,  the  scenery 
so  magnificent,  the  enjoyment  so  keen  and  fresh." 

Towards  the  end  of  1856  her  correspondent  sug- 
gested that  she  should  co-operate  in  the  preparation 
of  his  series  of  guide-books  and  compile  one  upon 
the  West  Highlands. 

When  you  develop  your  idea  [she  wrote]  I 
daresay  that  I  shall  like  to  undertake  it,  if  I  am  not 
stinted  in  time,  as  I  am  not  at  all  anxious  for  the 
termination  of  our  connection  as  author  and  publisher. 
My  pen  has  been  idle,  except  that  I  have  been  fabri- 
cating twelve  papers  on  popular  chemistry,  a  subject 
in  which  I  am  deeply  interested.  We  have  spent  three 
months  in  Scotland  each  year  for  six  years  past,  and 
until  this  last  summer  I  have  always  taken  copious 
notes  on  the  various  places  which  we  have  visited, 
but  I  do  not  know  how  far  these  would  be  serviceable 
in  the  compilation  of  a  guide-book.  I  should  be  glad 
if  you  would  enlighten  me  as  to  the  kind  of  work 
you  propose,  and  then  we  can  discuss  the  subject  on 
my  next  visit  to  London,  which  will  be  early  in  the 

But  the  project  fell  through,  because  her  health 
declined  with  the  spring  of  1857,  an(3  before  the 


season  was  far  advanced  the  doctor  urged  her  to 
leave  again  for  America.  She  intended  to  take  a 
six  months'  tour,  but  her  numerous  invitations  and 
introductions  extended  this  term  into  almost  a 
whole  year.  It  was  deemed  inexpedient  to  publish 
a  second  volume  of  American  travels  so  soon  after 
the  first,  and  we  are  dependent  on  her  own  brief 
summary  contained  in  a  letter  written  on  April  26, 
1858,  for  a  precis  of  her  movements. 

I  remained  a  fortnight  at  New  York,  which  I  had 
visited  before — from  which  point  my  route  was  new— 
and  three  weeks  in  Philadelphia  ;  two  months  in  the 
slave  states,  Virginia,  South  Carolinax  and  Georgia; 
a  fortnight  at  Washington  during  the  session  of  Con- 
gress ;  a  month  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Boston ;  a 
week  at  Longfellow's ;  two  months  in  a  beautiful 
village  in  Western  Massachusetts ;  two  weeks  at 
Albany ;  a  week  at  Niagara ;  two  weeks  at  Toronto ; 
one  month  in  the  bush  ;  two  weeks  at  Detroit ;  six 
weeks  in  making  a  tour  in  the  far,  far  west — over  the 
prairies  of  Illinois  and  Wisconsin,  forty  miles  beyond 
railroads,  up  the  Upper  Mississippi,  into  the  Minnesota 
Territory,  to  the  Falls  of  Minnehaha,  up  Lake  Huron 
and  to  the  extreme  end  of  Lake  Superior,  and  into  the 
Hudson's  Bay  Territory  among  the  wild  Indians — a 
journey  altogether  of  2,000  miles,  during  which  I  did 
not  remain  stationary  for  four  weeks,  as  it  was  con- 
sidered that  frequent  change  was  the  most  likely  to 
benefit  my  health. 

It  is  a  tantalising  catalogue  of  journeys  and  stages 
unrelieved  by  her  bright  comments,  and  but  little 
can  now  be  retrieved  of  the  incidents  which  enlivened 
it.  But  the  "  week  at  Longfellow's  "  recalls  a  fading 
reminiscence  of  her  meeting  many  of  the  Concord 
group  of  intellectuals  in  his  house,  a  large  country 
house  near  Boston,  where  George  Washington  lived 
for  some  years  from  1775,  while  the  War  of  Inde- 
pendence was  being  waged.  Here  she  saw  the 

IBS;]       RELIGION   IN   UNITED  STATES         43 

sacred  room  in  which  he  wrote  his  despatches.  It 
was  either  during  this  week,  or  when  she  stayed  at 
Concord,  that  she  spent  a  memorable  evening  round 
the  great  fireplace  of  the  "Wayside  Inn,"  with 
Longfellow,  Dana,  Lowell,  Emerson,  and  other 
members  of  the  fraternity.  And  in  Concord  she 
became  well  acquainted  with  both  Emerson  and  his 
eccentric  but  interesting  neighbour  Thoreau,  who 
lived  there  with  two  kind,  quaint  sisters,  during 
intervals  between  his  .experiments  in  solitude.  The 
American  literary  mind,  so  near  to  nature,  so  charged 
with  primal  enthusiasm  for  truth  and  goodness,  and 
so  optimistic,  impressed  her  as  peculiarly  suited  to 
national  needs. 

In  a  little  book,  written  in  1859,  sne  describes  what 
was  her  main  subject  of  inquiry  throughout  this 
tour  in  the  United  States.  A  great  revival  was  in 
progress,  in  which  her  father  was  deeply  interested, 
and  to  supply  him  with  full  information  she  thoroughly 
investigated  religious  developments  in  America, 
whether  external  as  evidenced  in  the  different 
Churches,  or  internal  as  indicated  by  national 
characteristics  and  education. 

To  secure  an  impartial  and  unprejudiced  estimate, 
she  went  to  all  the  religious  meetings,  of  .whatever 
creed  professed,  and  listened  to  no  fewer  than  one 
hundred  and  thirty  sermons,  some  of  them  preached 
to  Indians,  to  trappers,  to  negroes  and  by  negroes. 
Perhaps'  the  service  which  moved  her  most  was  one 
in  the  African  Baptist  Church  in  Richmond,  held 
on  the  last  Sunday  of  1857.  An  aged  negro,  called 
upon  to  pray,  did  so  in  such  a  manner,  reverent, 
apt,  and  eloquent,  with  such  perfect  diction  and 
accent  and  with  such  a  fulness  of  thoughtful  petition, 
that  she  burst  into  tears  and  declared  afterwards 


that  her  religious  life  was  quickened  and  strengthened 
for  ever  by  this  beautiful  prayer  uttered  by  a  slave. 

Another  remembered  fragment  belongs  to  her 
travels  in  the  wild  west.  Standing  on  a  little  pier 
by  Lake  Huron,  waiting  for  the  gangway  to  be 
lowered  from  a  steamer  on  which  she  was  about 
to  embark,  she  was  jostled  off  into  deep  water 
between  pier  and  steamer.  A  tall  Red  Indian  leapt 
down  and  seized  her,  saving  her  life,  but  not  before 
she  had  experienced,  as  on  Lake  Ontario,  that  sudden 
reversion  of  memory  to  the  past  which  is  one  of 
the  mental  phenomena  of  drowning.  No  long  pano- 
rama of  events  appeared  to  her,  however — only  one 
scene — her  childish  disobedience  in  slipping  out  of 
bed  to  look  at  the  ranunculuses,  a  scene  forgotten 
a  few  days  after  its  occurrence. 

Her  return  to  Wyton  Rectory  was  on  April  3,  1858. 

Her  father,  who — as  she  wrote  that  year — was  the 
"  mainspring  and  object  of  her  life,"  had  been 
strenuously  at  work  in  the  cause  of  Sabbath  ob- 
servance and  in  that  of  temperance.  He  found 
amongst  the  agricultural  labourers  of  his  parish  too 
many  instances  of  ruined  and  debased  lives  due  to 
drinking,  and  in  order  to  reach  their  consciences  he 
began  to  leave  off  the  glass  of  wine  with  dinner  so 
usual  then,  and  by  autumn,  1857,  was  able  to  do 
without  it.  Early  next  year  he  took  the  pledge 
publicly,  and  declared  that  he  had  never  been  in 
better  health  than  during  that  winter.  His  daughter's 
letters  about  the  American  revival  had  roused  a 
great  desire  that  the  awakening  spirit  might  come 
to  England,  and  his  daily  prayer  was,  "  Lord,  revive 
Thou  Thy  work  in  the  midst  of  the  years." 

He  had,  indeed,  begun  a  pamphlet  on  the  subject, 
and  hoped  to  finish  it  soon  after  Isabella's  return. 


,858]  MR.   BIRD'S  DEATH  45 

On  that  April  evening  the  little  family  group  was 
radiant  with  the  joy  of  reunion,  and  without 
forebodings  of  the  heavy  loss  which  was  about  to 
fall  upon  it.  A  parting,  longer  far  and  more 
agonising  than  any  which  they  could  have  foreseen, 
was  at  hand. 

That  very  night  Mr.  Bird  was  attacked  by  influenza, 
and  a  fortnight  later  a  deep-seated  abscess  began 
to  form.  He  refused  to  forego  his  duty,  and  preached 
in  his  own  pulpit  on  April  18  for  the  last  time. 
On  the  2ist  his  sufferings  were  so  great  that  the 
doctor  forbade  his  rising,  and  a  week  later  a  surgical 
operation  took  place.  But  he  was  too  weak  to 
revive.  On  May  10  he  asked  them  to  kneel  where 
he  could  see  them,  and  commended  them  in  prayer 
to  God  and  to  the  hope  of  reunion  in  that  inherit- 
ance that  fadeth  not  away,  and  on  May  14  he  died. 

Towards  the  end  he  spoke  almost  constantly  of 
his  flock.  "Tell  them,"  he  said,  "that  my  sole  desire 
has  been  to  bring  them  to  Jesus."  During  his  last 
night  he  was  too  feeble  to  do  more  than  whisper, 
but  his  whispers  were  ever  of  "  the  Friend  that 
sticketh  closer  than  any  brother";  and  as  he  spoke 
he  smiled  radiantly,  as  one  comforted  by  the  presence 
of  Him  he  loved. 

In  June  Miss  Bird  wrote  the  short  memorial  sketch 
already  alluded  to,  from  which  these  details  have 
been  chosen.  Her  health,  impaired  by  this  blow, 
and  never  strong  at  Wyton,  drooped  in  the  summer, 
and  in  July  she  went  with  her  mother  and  sister 
to  Scotland,  and  passed  some  months  in  the  High- 
lands, where  she  occupied  herself  in  putting  into 
form  her  notes  upon  Aspects  of  Religion  in  the  United 
States.  This  was  in  response  to  her  father's  dying 
wishes.  She  wrote  in  all  nine  papers,  published  in 


The  Patriot  newspaper,  and  so  much  appreciated  by 
its  readers  that  their  republication  in  a  separate  form 
was  called  for  in  the  spring  of  1859. 

She  had  seen  to  the  printing  and  publication  of 
her  father's  manuscript,  Some  Account  of  the  Great 
Religious  Awakening  now  going  on  in  the  United 
States,  for  which  she  had  supplied  him  with  statistics. 
It  was  published  by  Messrs.  Seeley  in  the  very  month 
of  his  decease. 



WYTON  was  left  behind,  and  for  some  time  Mrs.  Bird 
and  her  daughters  were  without  a  settled  home. 
When  the  demand  for  a  book  on  "  Religion  in 
America"  reached  Miss  Bird,  she  was  visiting  rela- 
tives near  Tunbridge  Wells.  She  proposed  to  revise 
her  papers,  and  to  make  such  alterations  as  would 
suit  them  for  readers  not  exclusively  of  the  religious 
world,  but  for  those  who  were  less  likely  to  be 
acquainted  with  their  subject 

The  book  was  published  by  Messrs.  Sampson 
Low  &  Co.,  in  the  summer  of  1859,  and  gave  a 
remarkable  summary  both  of  the  sectional  charac- 
teristics of  American  creeds  and  churches,  and  of 
their  practical  influence  on  the  various  divisions  of 
the  nation.  Thus,  she  pointed  out  that  in  the  north, 
Congregationalism  and  Puritan  forms  of  worship 
resulted  from  the  stern  virtue  of  the  Puritan  Fathers  ; 
that  in  the  south,  Episcopalianism  was  established 
by  the  immigrant  merchants  and  gentlemen ;  and 
that  in  the  West,  where  were  collected  the  restless 
and  enterprising  elements  of  European  and  American 
society,  "  every  creed  had  its  adherents  and  every 
church  its  ministers,  from  Mormonism  upwards." 
It  abounds  in  graphic  description  and  illustration, 
and  ends  with  the  declaration  of  her  steady  faith  in 
the  growth  of  Christianity  throughout  America  and 


48  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  m 

the  great  country's  destiny  in  carrying  out  God's 
purposes  towards  the  human  race. 

Just  before  Aspects  of  Religion  in  America  was  pub- 
lished, Miss  Bird  spent  three  weeks  in  Ireland  inves- 
tigating what  was  known  as  the  "  Ulster  Revival," 
a  movement  which  had  spread  from  America,  and 
which  showed  some  of  the  undesirable  features  of 
an  excitement  communicated  rather  than  inspired. 
She  says,  in  a  letter  to  Mr.  Murray:  "We  saw  the 
movement  in  every  denomination  and  in  all  its 
phases,  sober  and  extravagant.  I  never  witnessed 
anything  more  frightful  than  some  scenes  at  Armagh." 

That  autumn,  too,  was  spent  in  the  Highlands, 
and  most  of  the  winter  in  Edinburgh,  where  she 
had  begun  to  make  many  friends.  Perhaps  the 
earliest  of  these  were  the  Rev.  George  D.  Cullen 
and  his  daughter.  Mr.  Cullen  had  been  much 
interested  in  her  articles  on  the  American  revival, 
and  had  corresponded  with  her  when  they  first 
appeared.  So  it  was  to  Miss  Cullen  that  Miss  Bird 
wrote,  when  her  mother  decided  to  winter  in  Edin- 
burgh, asking  her  to  find  them  rooms,  and  to  these 
two  friends  they  owed  their  first  welcome  to  the 
northern  capital.  They  were  subsequently  led  to 
make  their  home  there,  partly  because  they  loved 
Scotland  and  because  it  was  more  convenient  for  the 
West  Highlands  than  the  South  of  England,  and 
partly  because  in  working  for  the  fisher-folk  and 
crofters  Miss  Bird  found  helpers  and  sympathisers 
in  Edinburgh.  She  soon  became  acquainted  with 
Dr.  Guthrie,  Dr.  Hanna,  Dr.  John  Brown,  and 
Dr.  Macdonald,  of  North  Leith,  all  keenly  interested 
in  the  fragile  little  lady,  whose  spirited  mind  and 
sympathetic  insight  gave  her  an  exceptional  power 
of  attracting  and  retaining  friends. 

1860]        RESIDENCE  IN   EDINBURGH  49 

In  1860  Mrs.  Bird  took  a  comfortable  flat  at  No.  3 
Castle  Terrace,  where  they  lived  for  many  years. 
It  must  have  been  in  that  year  that  I  first  met 
Miss  Bird.  She  had  an  introduction  to  Professor 
and  Mrs.  Blackie,  then  resident  at  24  Hill  Street, 
where  she  called  one  afternoon  when  I  was  present. 
The  memory  of  a  small,  slight  figure  dressed  in 
mourning  is  still  vivid — of  her  white  face  shining 
between  the  black  meshes  of  a  knitted  Shetland  veil ; 
of  her  great,  observant  eyes,  flashing  and  smiling, 
but  melancholy  when  she  was  silent;  of  her  gentle- 
ness and  the  exquisite  modesty  of  her  manner;  and, 
above  all,  of  her  soft  and  perfectly  modulated  voice, 
never  betrayed  into  harshness  or  loudness,  or  even 
excitement,  but  so  magnetic  that  all  in  the  room 
were  soon  absorbed  in  listening  to  her.  The  incident 
which  she  narrated  has  long  been  forgotten,  but 
the  manner  of  it  lives  to  this  day — the  skill  of  her 
delicately  woven  sentences,  her  perfect  choice  of 
words,  the  value  of  what  she  told,  the  point  and 
vivacity  of  it  all.  Longing  to  know  her  better,  my 
aunt  (Miss  Frances  Stoddart)  and  I  called  on  Mrs.  Bird, 
and  so  began  a  friendship  which  endured  for  my  aunt 
whilst  she  lived,  and  for  myself  whilst  the  life  I  am 
now  recording  lasted. 

Miss  Bird  was  in  those  years  often  suffering  from 
spinal  prostration,  and  could  seldom  rise  before  noon ; 
but  all  her  correspondence  was  done  in  the  morning, 
as  well  as  many  of  her  numerous  articles  for  The 
Leisure  Houry  The  Family  Treasury,  Good  Words,  and 
Sunday  at  Home.  She  wrote  propped  up  by  pillows, 
a  flat  writing-board  upon  her  knees,  and  letters  or 
sheets  of  manuscript  scattered  around  her.  Often 
she  laid  down  her  pen  to  greet  some  privileged 
visitor,  and  sometimes  sacrificed  an  hour  or  more 



to  advise,  suggest,  console,  and  stimulate.  Dr.  Moir 
attended  her  then,  but  after  a  few  years  he  brought 
Dr.  Grainger  Stewart  to  take  his  place. 

She  was  able  to  make  calls,  attend  committee 
meetings  and  do  business  in  the  afternoons,  and 
occasionally  to  dine  out,  although  she  was  chary 
of  too  frequent  social  fatigues.  Wherever  she  went 
she  became  without  effort  the  most  absorbing  person 
present,  and  an  hour  spent  with  her  was  worth  many 
dinner-parties,  even  in  those  brilliant  Edinburgh  days. 
It  was  her  power  of  forgetting  herself  entirely  in 
the  person  whose  character,  mind,  or  mood  she  was 
seeking  to  help  that  made  her  so  effective  a  friend. 
She  was  never  blind  to  defects  in  her  acquaint- 
ances ;  indeed,  she  noted  them  keenly,  but  she  did 
not  visit  them  with  the  appalling  self-righteousness 
of  commoner  natures.  It  is  difficult  now  to  feel 
that  she  disliked  defects  so  much  as  one's  friends 
usually  do  ;  perhaps  they  lent  piquancy  to  the 
worthier  qualities,  and  she  preferred  the  complex 
to  the  obvious.  But  her  eyes  searched  out  all 
qualities,  and  brought  them,  if  not  to  judgment,  cer- 
tainly to  comment.  She  was  sometimes  accounted 
insincere,  as  she  was  accounted  inaccurate ;  no 
more  unjust  criticism  was  ever  passed.  The  keen- 
ness and  thoroughness  of  her  penetration  made  her 
sincere,  tolerant,  and  all-forgiving.  She  allowed  her- 
self to  comment  on  all  qualities  alike,  but  those 
comments  of  a  more  critical  character  were  not  offered 
spontaneously,  they  were  drawn  from  her  by  others, 
whilst  her  expressions  of  warm  appreciation  came 
unsuggested  and  unstinted.  Frail,  dependent  on  the 
love  of  mother  and  sister,  timid,  often  disinclined  to 
make  a  stand  for  her  own  opinions,  she  was  none 
the  less  an  absolutely  independent  observer,  and 

i86i-2]  HELP  FOR  WEST  HIGHLANDERS      51 

used,  in  order  to  complete  her  own  judgment,  not 
the  idle  words  of  others,  but  the  deep,  pardoning, 
understanding  love  of  the  Christ  who  lived  in 

One  influential  element  of  her  life,  from  its  earliest 
years  till  she  was  left  solitary,  was  her  deep  home 
affection.  Mere  acquaintances  scarcely  noticed  it,  for 
it  was  never  paraded,  but  each  member  of  her  family 
was  wrapped  up  in  devotion  for  the  other,  and  each 
armed  the  others  for  happiness.  Natural  and  acquired 
reserve  concealed  this  mutual  affection  from  the  out- 
side world,  and  even  their  dearest  friends  saw  but 
a  gleam  of  it  now  and  then.  It  was  enough  that  it 
was  realised  and  understood  amongst  themselves, 
and  its  satisfying  presence  filled  their  hearts  with 
courage  in  all  their  undertakings. 

To  help  their  beloved  Highlanders  was  one  of 
the  undertakings  which  lay  nearest  to  the  hearts  of 
Miss  Bird  and  her  mother  and  sister.  Summer  by 
summer  they  continued  to  make  Oban  their  head- 
quarters. Mr.  Hutcheson  gave  all  brothers  of  the 
pen  and  pencil  free  passes  on  his  steamers,  and 
included  Miss  Bird  in  his  generous  franchise.  She 
used  his  passes  freely,  and  made  many  voyages 
amongst  the  islands.  Everywhere  there  was  dis- 
tress— blighted  potato  crops,  poor  harvests,  acute 
poverty.  Captain  Otter,  of  the  Government  Naval 
Survey  Service,  lived  just  outside  Oban,  in  the  Manor 
House,  where  great  fuchsias  clambered  up  the  white 
walls,  loving  the  wet  western  wind.  His  wife  knew 
the  islands  well,  and  in  relieving  their  starving  people 
joined  with  Miss  Bird  in  organising  plans  for  the 
emigration  of  some,  and  for  the  industrial  employment 
of  others.  Miss  Bird  originated  the  Harris  cloth 
manufacture,  the  success  of  which  was  mainly  due  to 

52  EDINBURGH  AND  WORK      [CHAP,  m 

Mrs.  Otter,  Mrs.  Thomas,  Mrs.  Clifton,  and  other 
ladies  who  were  drawn  into  co-operation  with  her. 

Lady  Gordon  Cathcart,  whose  crofters  in  the  Outer 
Hebrides  were  in  desperate  need,  welcomed  the 
emigration  scheme  to  which  Miss  Bird  was  devoting 
herself,  and  assisted  in  the  transport  of  the  Islanders 
to  Canada,  where  they  were  to  find  land,  labour, 
fellow  countrymen,  and  encouragement.  Miss  Bird 
took  upon  herself  the  correspondence  required  to 
carry  out  this  enterprise.  Her  acquaintance  with 
Canada  and  her  influential  friends  there  were  her 
capital,  and  she  wrote  to  them  with  such  fulness  of 
detail  and  with  such  admirable  suggestions  that  they 
were  prompted  to  give  willing  assistance  in  just  the 
manner  desired.  There  remained  the  passages  to 
secure  and  the  outfits  to  provide.  Concerning  the 
passages  she  sought  advice  from  Messrs.  Allan,  and 
induced  Mrs.  Otter  to  accompany  her  on  her  visit 
to  their  office  in  Glasgow. 

This  brought  about  her  introduction  to  Mr. 
Nathaniel  Dunlop,  who  remembers  the  occasion  well, 
and  writes  : 

It  was  during  the  early  sixties  that  Mrs.  Otter  called 
upon  me,  accompanied  by  a  bright  young  lady,  who 
I  learned  was  Miss  Bird,  to  arrange  for  the  passages 
to  Canada  of  crofters  and  their  families  from  the 
Western  Highlands.  The  impression  left  by  our  inter- 
view is  of  my  great  desire  to  serve  the  singularly 
gifted  young  lady  well.  She  astonished  me  by  her 
energy  and  her  capacity  in  making  arrangements  for 
the  conveyance  of  the  emigrants.  She  paid  me  several 
visits  in  respect  to  these,  and  took  a  personal  interest 
in  the  minutest  details.  When  all  was  settled  and  her 
people  were  about  to  embark,  she  was  amongst  them, 
seeing  to  their  every  want.  The  embarkation  took 
place  the  day  before  their  departure.  Miss  Bird 
remained  with  them  all  night,  and  when  the  official 
visit  prior  to  their  departure  took  place  she  had  them 

1862-6]  EMIGRATION   SCHEME  53 

marshalled  in  order,  tidy  and  cheerful.  The  sadness 
at  leaving  their  native  shore  had  given  place  to  cheer- 
fulness— due  to  Miss  Bird's  presence  amongst  them, 
to  the  completeness  of  the  arrangements  for  their 
comfort  which  she  had  secured,  and  to  the  bright 
hopes  for  their  future  well-being  which  she  had 

This  was  the  first  of  a  succession  of  such  embarka- 
tions in  the  years  between  1862  and  1866.  Mr.  Dunlop 
goes  on  to  say  : 

Several  scenes  of  this  kind,  in  which  Miss  Bird  was 
the  chief  actor,  come  to  my  memory,  and  the  impres- 
sions that  remain  of  those  early  emigrant  times  are 
the  pleasantest  and  most  vivid  of  all  my  experiences. 
There  was  something  in  Miss  Bird  that  filled  every 
one  with  whom  she  came  in  contact  with  a  desire  to 
serve  her.  She  never  complained  of  inattention  to 
her  people,  nor  asked  for  special  consideration  for 
them  or  for  herself.  She  was  personally  self-denying, 
her  only  wish  being  to  make  others  happy.  There 
was  a  fascination  in  all  her  ways.  She  was  small  of 
stature,  simple  and  neat  in  her  attire,  and  was  full  of 
a  refined  humour  that  brightened  her  conversation. 
There  was  always  a  grace  in  what  she  said,  and  an 
ever-present  evidence  of  latent  intellectual  power ; 
and  presiding  over  all  there  was  a  dignity  that  forbade 
the  slightest  approach  to  familiarity. 

Of  the  outfits  supplied  to  her  emigrants  I  have 
personal  recollections.  Miss  Bird  provided  new  gar- 
ments for  them  all.  Her  mother  and  sister  helped 
her  energetically,  and  friends  who  knew  what  was 
required  gladly  brought  her  cloth  for  gowns,  coats, 
and  kilts,  calico  and  flannel,  and  such  necessaries 
as  brushes,  combs,  shawls,  bags,  and  hold-alls.  The 
chief  difficulty  lay  in  getting  the  materials  made  up 
in  time,  but  that  was  overcome  by  a  series  of  sewing- 
bees,  managed  by  Miss  Phcebe  Blyth.  Miss  Bird 
was  herself  an  excellent  needle-woman,  had  sewed 
smogks  at  the  age  of  six,  and  was  prouder  of  her 

54  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  in 

dressmaking  than  of  her  bookmaking.  The  measur- 
ing, folding,  unfolding  and  refolding,  the  despair  of 
completing  twelve  kilts  in  time,  the  many  regretful 
visions  of  twelve  unhappy  Highland  laddies  strug- 
gling with  those  twisted  and  uneasy  skirts  have  never 
been  forgotten. 

The  emigrants  were  not  only  sent  out  with  a 
respectable  "  plenishing,"  not  only  sped  on  their  way 
by  Miss  Bird,  but  were  committed  to  the  care  of 
friends  in  the  States  and  in  Canada,  who  saw  to  their 
settlement  and  favourable  start  on  grants  of  lands 
and  in  the  backwoods.  And  she  visited  them  after 
their  first  difficulties  were  surmounted.  Mr.  Dunlop 
continues : 

One  man  alone  of  those  who  shared  with  myself 
in  the  shipping  part  of  the  work  remains,  and  when 
I  asked  him  if  he  recollected  Isabella  Bird  and  her 
Highlanders, — "Yes,"  he  cried,  "I  mind  her  well,  and 
a  grand  woman  she  was.  She  went  out  with  us  in 
the  St.  David  in  1866,  to  Portland,  Maine,  when  I 
was  an  officer  in  the  ship.  She  went  out  to  visit  the 
people  she  had  helped  to  settle  in  Canada."  I  have 
every  reason  to  believe  that  she  was  instrumental 
in  founding  a  prosperous  settlement. 

The  crofters  sent  out  were  from  the  Hebrides 
only :  Miss  Bird  had  no  power  to  help  emigrants 
from  the  mainland. 

Her  social  life  expanded  during  the  years  that  she 
was  thus  engaged.  She  was,  while  her  mother  lived, 
less  tempted  to  wander  afar  than  in  later  years, 
because  the  long  summer  drew  them  all  northwards, 
and  her  constant  voyages  and  the  arrangements 
which  she  had  to  make  supplied  occupation,  fresh 
air,  and  change  sufficient  to  maintain  her  in  a 
measure  of  health.  lona  had  grown  especially  dear 
to  her.  The  Birds  were  in  the  habit  of  living  in 

i864]  IONA  55 

the  fisher-huts,  where  they  acquainted  themselves 
with  simple  fare,  long  before  the  St.  Columba  Inn 
was  built.  The  Duke  of  Argyll,  the  Bishop  of  Argyll 
and  the  Isles,  and  Mr.  Skene  were  Isabella's  guides 
and  instructors,  and  there  was  nothing  connected 
with  the  archaeology  and  sacred  history  of  the  island 
which  she  did  not  know,  while  its  shores  and  rocks 
and  flowery  knolls  were  all  familiar  and  dear  to 
her,  as  truly  as  its  Street  of  the  Dead  and  tombs  of 
kings,  its  Runic  crosses  and  pillow  of  St.  Columba. 
Sometimes  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie  would  come 
over  to  lona  and  live  on  fish  and  girdle  cakes,  eggs 
and  butter,  and  she  would  act  as  guide  to  both. 
This  friendship  had  grown  very  important  to  her, 
and  Mrs.  Blackie  had  gladly  welcomed  into  her  inner 
circle  of  friends  one  so  devoted  to  well-doing,  so 
exceptional  in  mind  and  character,  so  understanding, 
so  unassuming  and  yet  so  instinct  with  power.  Edin- 
burgh knew  nothing  about  Miss  Bird's  early  literary 
success,  but  was  beginning  to  read  her  articles  in 
The  Leisure  Hour  and  The  Sunday  Magazine,  although 
it  was  rather  her  personality  than  her  writings  which 
gave  her  the  passport  to  all  that  was  intellectually 
and  therefore  socially  best  in  the  city. 

To  Mrs.  Blackie  she  turned  with  the  same  at- 
traction which  she  herself  inspired,  and  we  owe  most 
of  our  acquaintance  with  this  period  of  her  life  to  their 
correspondence.  A  letter  from  Miss  Bird  written  in 
the  autumn  of  1864 — after  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie 
had  left  Oban,  about  the  time  that  their  thoughts 
were  dwelling  on  a  possible  home  above  Kerrera  and 
its  Sound — gives  a  vivid  account  of  one  of  Miss  Bird's 
island  tours. 

I  must  sketch  our  ongoings  since  we  left  Oban 
for  "parts  unknown."  I  had  a  very  rainy  voyage  to 

56  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  m 

Skye,  and  reached  Kyleakin  at  3.30  on  a  gloomy 
morning.  The  Saturday  was  tolerable,  and  we  went 
to  Castle  Bay,  but  the  weather  changed  and  I  caught 
a  bad  cold  and  all  my  strength  went.  That  terrible 
gale  was  very  grand  there,  and  on  Tuesday,  in  coming 
round  Ardnamurchan,  the  waves  were  as  grim  and 
resistless  as  human  destiny.  It  was  a  miserable  voyage 
of  fourteen  hours'  storm  and  hail  and  sorrow.  Near 
Tobermory,  a  passenger  fell  from  the  bridge  and  was 
drowned.  Ana  the  gaze  of  the  dead  looking  its  last 
upon  the  familiar  sky  has  haunted  me  ever  since.  Then 
a  gentleman  had  an  apoplectic  fit  in  the  saloon.  Then 
we  swamped  a  boat  and  saved  the  lives  with  difficulty, 
ending  by  running  into  the  Pioneer  at  Oban  Pier. 
The  next  day  I  joined  mama  and  Hennie  at  Ardgour, 
and  on  the  Friday  came  down  to  Oban  for  a  hamper  of 
food,  leaving  them  on  Appin  Pier,  but  the  Charon 
would  not  take  them  to  Lismore  till  the  next  day,  when 
I  rejoined  them  and  we  remained  there  six  days.  I  never 
before  realised  my  ideal  of  quiet  and  pure  primitive 
life.  It  was  delicious.  It  seemed  as  if  a  heavenly  balm 
stole  in  at  every  mental  pore,  and  as  if  the  invisible, 
usually  shut  out  by  the  material,  came  very  near.  We 
never  saw  a  creature  excepting  the  interesting  and 
patriarchal  family  where  we  lodged,  and  the  perpetual 
gale  prevented  communication  with  the  mainland. 
Our  sounds  were  barkings,  cacklings,  lowings, 
bleatings,  with  the  endless  harmonies  and  discords  of 
winds  and  waves.  On  Friday  I  went  to  Ballachulish 
and  Corpach  in  the  Pioneer,  and  we  met  at  Appin  and 
all  came  home  in  the  evening  to  Oban,  but  we  intend 
to  return  to  our  solitude  to-morrow  and  to  remain  till 
Friday.  I  have  been  going  about  in  the  Pioneer  in  a 
tarpaulin  coat  and  sou'-wester  hat !  I  have  observed 
that  Scotch  characteristic  of  "  roaring  out "  confidences 
on  board,  the  voice  rising  as  the  revelations  deepen  in 
interest,  and  have  learned  most  singular  bits  of  history 
owing  to  this  national  peculiarity. 

It  was  Mrs.  Blackie's  habit  to  visit  her  in  Edinburgh 
every  Thursday  morning  when  it  was  possible,  and 
these  visits  were  cherished  and  guarded  by  both,  only 
illness  or  absence  from  home  being  permitted  to  hinder 
them.  Their  talks  were  of  deep  things,  spiritual, 

i864]-  SELF-REPROACH  57 

emotional,  intellectual,  revelations  each  to  each  of 
aspiration  and  failure.  So  much  we  may  gather  from 
their  letters  to  each  other,  which  often  refer  to  subjects 
touched  upon  in  their  weekly  converse. 

Miss  Bird's  frail  health  had  induced  habits  which  at 
this  time  disturbed  her  conscience— late  rising,  frequent 
meals,  careful  protection  of  her  time  and  strength 
against  intrusion,  perhaps  too  marked  an  avoidance 
of  tedious  persons  and  engagements.  These  were 
Dr.  Moir's  orders,  and  were  sound  sense  when  she 
was  prostrated  with  recurrent  spinal  attacks ;  but  she 
was  conscious  that  they  encroached  upon  her  higher 
nature  and  hindered  its  growth. 

I  feel  [she  wrote  in  1864]  as  if  my  life  were 
spent  in  the  very  ignoble  occupation  of  taking  care 
of  myself,  and  that  unless  some  disturbing  influences 
arise  I  am  in  great  danger  of  becoming  perfectly 
encrusted  with  selfishness,  and,  like  the  hero  of 
Romola,  of  living  to  make  life  agreeable  and  its  path 
smooth  to  myself  alone.  Indeed,  this  summer  I  have 
made  very  painful  discoveries  on  this  subject  and 
long  for  a  cheerful  intellect  and  self-denying  spirit, 
which  seeketh  not  its  own  and  pleaseth  not  itself. 

It  was  at  this  time  that  she  was  straining  mind 
and  hand  to  provide  passages,  outfits,  and  settlement 
for  her  emigrant  crofters.  But  there  was  some  reason 
for  her  plaint  against  herself — in  that  she  was  not 
able  "  to  suffer  fools  gladly,"  and  refused  them  admis- 
sion. Poverty  was  never  repulsed  ;  she  was  as 
courteous  to  a  maid-servant  as  to  a  countess ;  but 
those  who  were  permitted  to  visit  her  required  some 
qualification,  either  of  usefulness  to  her  work,  or  of 
affinity.  She  was  inclined  at  that  time  to  elect  and 
select,  and  to  discourage  general  advances. 

I  remember  many  a  bright  gathering  at  No.  3, 
Castle  Terrace,  when  artists,  professors,  poets,  and 

58  EDINBURGH   AND   WORK       [CHAP,  m 

publishers  were  present.  One  occasion  is  specially 
vivid,  when  Dr.  John  Brown  came,  after  taking 
precautions  against  "being  mixed  up  with  strong- 
minded  women,"  and  when  he  bandied  genial  quips 
with  Professor  Blackie,  Dr.  Hanna,  Mr.  Constable,  Sir 
Noel  Paton,  Mr.  Fraser  Tytler,  and  Alexander  Smith. 

Miss  Bird  was  interested  in  the  Scottish  churches 
and  their  assemblies.  Her  father's  example  inclined 
her  from  the  first  to  large-minded  intercourse  with 
Presbyterians  and  Episcopalians  alike.  As  a  rule,  the 
Birds  attended  St.  Thomas's  Church,  but  they  were 
enthusiastic  for  Dr.  Candlish,  whose  church  was  near ; 
and  Isabella  was  often  to  be  found  in  Free  St.  John's, 
either  listening  to  Dr.  Hanna's  lectures  on  the  life  of 
our  Lord,  or  to  Dr.  Guthrie's  impassioned  oratory  in  the 
afternoon.  To  Dr.  Hanna  she  owed  much,  and  warmly 
acknowledged  his  help  in  the  things  of  the  Spirit. 
He  could  divine  her  perplexities  almost  before  she 
admitted  them,  and  his  courageous  treatment,  so  far 
in  advance  of  that  age,  of  the  Life  of  lives,  with  its 
reverent  devotion  to  our  divine  Lord,  made  his  faith 
a  fortification  to  her  own.  She  saw  much  of  him 
during  the  sixties  and  seventies,  and  deplored  his 
retirement  when  health  failed  him. 

We  find  her  catching  the  Assembly  epidemic  and 
attending  without  prejudice  the  most  interesting 
debates  in  all  three,  enjoying  especially,  in  1865, 
the  Innovation  Debate  in  the  Established  Assembly. 

In  the  summer  of  that  year  Professor  Blackie  was 
disappointed  by  the  unwillingness  of  London  pub- 
lishers to  accept  his  Homer,  issued  afterwards  by 
Messrs.  Edmonstone  &  Douglas,  and  her  sympathy 
for  Mrs.  Blackie  was  warm  and  spontaneous: 

If  am  able  to  comfort  you  at  all,  it  is  that  my  own 
connection  with  literary  life  enables  me  to  enter  into 

i865-7]  PAPERS  ON   HYMNS  59 

your  sorrow,  the  keenest  element  of  which  is  dis- 
appointment for  one  so  truly  loved  and  worthy  of 
love.  That  his  book  may  bring  him  in  the  fame 
wherewith  you  long  to  see  him  crowned  I  earnestly 
desire,  and  I  by  no  means  despair  of  this,  althougn 
I  am  aware  that  it  will  have  to  fight  its  way  to  the 
vantage  ground  from  which  it  could  have  started 
if  it  had  been  undertaken  by  Mr.  Murray.  The 
beautiful  way  in  which  the  Professor  has  taken  it 
greatly  ennobles  him,  and  this  and  many  other  such 
conquests  and  unworldly  deeds  will  ever  form  his 
most  durable  and  blessed  fame. 

She  was  busy  with  literary  work  herself  during 
that  spring  and  summer.  "  I  have  earned  .£30  this 
month,  and  the  'accumulative  passion'  is  wakening.  I 
have  to  complete  another  paper  on  hymns  by  June  5." 

These  papers  were  published  in  The  Sunday  Maga- 
zine during  parts  of  1865,  1866,  and  1867.  They 
were  eight  in  number,  and  involved  minute  research. 
It  was  after  a  conversation  with  Dr.  Hanna  that, 
astonished  at  the  fulness  of  her  acquaintance  with  the 
beautiful  old  hymns  of  the  Church,  he  suggested  the 

The  first  deals  with  the  "  Early  Hymns,"  and  begins 
with  an  allusion  to  the  praises  of  God  sung  at  the 
world's  birth  by  the  morning  stars,  who  heralded 
the  hour  "  when  angels  bent  over  the  plain  of  Judea 
to  sing  the  sweetest  song  that  ever  pealed  over 
our  sin-smitten  earth  when  the  Babe  was  born  in 
Bethlehem."  It  speaks  of  the  Gospel  hymns  (the 
Magnificat,  the  Benedictus,  and  the  Nunc  Dimittis\ 
then  of  the  simple  lauds  of  the  post-Apostolic  Church, 
and  of  Syriac  and  Greek  hymns.  She  gives  in  great 
part  her  own  translations  of  those  quoted,  and  the 
paper  ends  with  the  hymn  sung  at  the  lighting  of 
the  evening  lamp  perhaps  as  early  as  the  first  century, 
and  preserved  by  St.  Basil, 

6o  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  m 

Three  papers  succeed  each  other  in  the  May,  June, 
and  July  numbers  of  The  Sunday  Magazine  for  1865, 
and  are  devoted  to  "  The  Latin  Hymns  of  the  Church," 
covering  the  period  between  St.  Jerome  in  the  fourth 
and  the  decadence  after  the  thirteenth  century,  and 
indicating  the  hold  which  hymns  acquired  and  retained 
in  Western  Europe. 

Christian  poetry  became  popular  [she  wrote],  and 
wherever  Latin  Christianity  penetrated,  hymns  were 
the  expression  of  the  new  thoughts,  fears,  and  hopes 
which  were  stirring  to  their  depths  the  souls  of  men ; 
and  in  accent  and  rhyme  essentially  popular,  appeal- 
ing to  the  ears  of  all;  in  their  simple  rise  and  fall 
appreciable  by  all — the  immortal  longings  of  the  new 
Christian  life  were  breathed  forth. 

She  indicates  the  stage  at  which  the  decaying  and 
undevout  Church  destroyed  this  form  and  in  Leo  X.'s 
time  classicised  the  Latin  hymns  after  the  model  of 
Horace,  and  so  robbed  the  people  of  their  heritage; 
and  she  warns  us  against  accepting  as  veritable 
productions  of  the  true  Church  of  Christ  all  the 
quaint  and  often  farcical  conceits  of  monkish  hymn- 

In  the  second  paper  Miss  Bird  deals  more  par- 
ticularly with  the  exquisite  hymns  of  St.  Bernard  of 
Clairvaux  and  St.  Bernard  of  Clugny,  of  Robert  II. 
and  other  great  writers  of  the  twelfth  century,  and 
amongst  them  she  interpolates  one  with  the  more 
personal  and  subjective  character  which  marks  it  as 
of  later,  probably  Renaissance,  date.  This  is  given  in 
her  own  translation,  and  may  be  quoted. 


Fighting  the  battle  of  life 

With  a  weary  heart  and  head ; 
Far  in  the  midst  of  the  strife 

The  banners  of  joy  are  fled  ; 

i865-7]  PAPERS  ON   HYMNS  61 

Fled  and  gone  out  of  sight, 
When  I  thought  they  were  so  near  j 

And  the  music  of  hope  this  night 
Is  dying  away  on  my  ear. 

Fighting  alone  to-night — 

With  not  even  a  stander-by 
To  cheer  me  on  in  the  fight, 

Or  to  hear  me  when  I  cry. 
Only  the  Lord  can  hear, 

Only  the  Lord  can  see 
The  struggle  within  how  dark  and  drear, 

Though  quiet  the  outside  be. 

Lord,  I  would  fain  be  still 

And  quiet  behind  my  shield ; 
But  make  me  to  love  Thy  will, 

For  fear  I  should  ever  yield. 
Even  as  now  my  hands, 

So  doth  my  folded  will 
Lie  waiting  Thy  commands 

Without  one  anxious  thrill. 

But  as  with  sudden  pain 

My  hands  unfold  and  clasp, 
So  doth  my  will  start  up  again 

And  taketh  its  old  firm  grasp. 
Nothing  but  perfect  trust, 

And  love  of  Thy  perfect  will,  ( if> 

Can  raise  me  out  of  the  dust, 

And  bid  my  fears  lie  still. 

O  Lord,  Thou  hidest  Thy  face, 

And  the  battle-clouds  prevail ; 
Q  grant  me  Thy  most  sweet  grace, 

That  I  may  not  utterly  fail ! 
Fighting  alone  to-night, 

With  what  a  sickening  heart  1 — 
Lord  Jesus,  in  the  fight, 

O  stand  not  Thou  apart  1 

The  author  is  unknown,  and  we  can  imagine  this 
to  be  the  outpouring  of  some  anxious  heart  awaiting 
trial,  for  loving  Christ  better  than  His  perverted 
Church,  in  Reformation  times.  The  article  ends 
with  the  Hymns  of  Judgment. 

The    concluding  paper  goes    over  the  ground  of 

62  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  m 

the  whole  Latin  hymnology,  with  definite  classi- 
fication into  Ambrosian,  Mediaeval,  and  Transition 
periods,  and  concludes  with  an  exquisite  reflection 
upon  the  last : 

For  several  centuries  the  Latin  Hymns  were  em- 
phatically "  songs  of  the  night,"  and  when  the  day  at 
last  dawned  it  was  upon  men  sitting  in  the  region  and 
shadow  of  death,  with  death's  heavy  atmosphere  all 
around  them.  It  is  not  wonderful  that  the  poetry 
should  reflect  the  autumn-time,  and  that  the  plaintive 
cry  of  distress  should  overpower  the  murmur  of 
thanksgiving,  for  the  spirit  of  bondage  unto  fear  had 
returned,  the  "  lame  hands  of  faith  "  which  grasped 
the  Cross  were  paralysed  by  doubt,  and  the  misgivings 
of  the  fearful  were  never  set  at  rest,  until  the  river  was 
crossed,  and  the  Master's  voice  of  welcome  fell  upon 
the  ears  of  His  trembling  servants. 

As  we  already  know,  Miss  Bird  crossed  the  Atlantic 
in  the  early  spring  of  1866  to  visit  her  settlement 
in  Canada,  so  that  it  was  not  till  May  of  that  year 
that  she  was  able  to  resume  her  papers.  It  is, 
however,  advisable  to  review  the  series  without 
biographical  interruption.  In  that  month  she  con- 
tributed an  article  on  the  development  of  German 
Hymnology  and  the  Reformation  and  the  Revival  of 
praise.  "  It  was  on  the  wings  of  hymns,"  she  wrote, 
"  which  embodied  and  popularised  the  new  doctrines, 
that  the  Reformation  flew  through  Germany.  The 
Latin  sacred  poetry  was  speedily  lost  in  the  German 
Christian  lyric." 

She  draws  attention  to  the  richness  of  Danish  and 
German  Protestant  Hymnologies  two  centuries  before 
England  and  Scotland  found  the  "new  song." 

In  the  two  succeeding  articles  she  sketched  the 
meagre  hymnology  of  the  time  of  Queen  Elizabeth, 
whose  writers  she  illustrated  with  careful  quotation. 
She  recognised  its  rare  praise,  its  melancholy,  its 

i866]          MRS.   BIRD'S  LAST  ILLNESS  63 

tendency  to  trivial  conceits,  its  formality,  its  want 
of  spontaneity,  its  occasional  homeliness  almost 
verging  upon  coarseness. 

Miss  Bird  contributed  "  The  Emblematists "  to 
The  Sunday  Magazine  for  September,  1867.  In  this 
paper  she  deals  with  Donne,  Quarles,  and  Herbert, 
preferring  Dr.  John  Donne  and  quoting  his  "Hymn 
to  God  the  Father,"  which  was  "  set  to  a  solemn 
and  stately  tune,  and  was  regularly  sung  at  the  con- 
clusion of  public  worship  in  St.  Paul's."  But  her 
account  of  Herbert  is  naturally  more  attractive  than 
those  of  Donne  and  Quarles,  and  she  reminds  us 
that  his  Temple  is  the  prayer-book  in  poetry.  This 
literary  work  of  Miss  Bird's,  executed  at  3  Castle 
Terrace,  is  characteristic :  it  was  so  good,  so  instructive, 
so  well  handled  and  so  well  written. 

Again  a  great  sorrow  awaited  her.  Mrs.  Bird 
had  been  tempted  south  the  previous  autumn,  but 
returned  from  a  round  of  visits  greatly  exhausted, 
and  her  daughters  were  anxious  about  her  all 
winter.  In  April  Dr.  Moir  suggested  a  change,  and 
she  had  gone  to  Bridge  of  Allan  with  Henrietta 
during  Isabella's  brief  absence :  at  first  she  rallied 
and  enjoyed  walking  and  driving.  Then  a  spell 
of  bitter  east  wind  undid  all  the  benefit  received  and 
bronchitis  kept  her  a  prisoner  till  May,  when  they 
went  to  Gourock,  where  a  milder  climate  revived  her 
wonderfully.  They  stayed  there  till  Isabella's 
return,  and  she  joined  them  for  a  day  or  two,  driving 
with  them  to  Greenock  to  see  Henrietta  on  board 
the  Clansman,  bound  for  Tobermory,  after  which 
Isabella  took  her  mother  home  to  3  Castle  Terrace. 
But  the  east  wind  was  again  in  full  force,  and  for 
weeks  she  was  very  poorly.  It  was  some  time 
before  she  could  be  persuaded  to  give  up  her  habit 

64  EDINBURGH  AND  WORK      [CHAP,  m 

of  rising  at  six  o'clock,  that  she  might  have  a  long 
time  for  her  morning  devotions,  but  soon  there  was 
no  question  of  her  rising  at  all.  In  her  last  days 
she  was  much  soothed  by  her  daughters  singing  to 
her  her  favourite  hymns,  and  on  August  14  the  end 

She  was  laid  in  her  grave  in  the  Dean  Cemetery, 
and  Mr.  Bird's  coffin  was  brought  from  Houghton 
and  lowered  beside  hers.  On  her  headstone  were 
engraved  her  own  chosen  words :  "  With  Christ, 
which  is  far  better." 

"  She  has  been  my  one  object  for  the  eight  years 
of  her  widowhood,"  Miss  Bird  wrote,  "and  her  stimu- 
lating presence  has  been  ever  beside  me." 

To  both  sisters  her  death  was  a  crushing  blow, 
and  they  left  Edinburgh  for  nearly  six  months, 
Henrietta  to  Tobermory,  Isabella  to  London,  Tun- 
bridge  Wells,  and  Farnham. 

They  returned  in  February,  1867.  Mrs.  Blackie, 
with  tender  thoughts  for  their  feelings,  went  early, 
on  the  day  of  their  home-coming,  to  3  Castle  Terrace, 
and  with  deft  touches  altered  the  arrangement  of 
their  sitting-room,  filled  vases  with  flowers  and  saw 
to  the  setting  of  their  dinner-table,  so  that  the  first 
sight  of  the  vacant  place  might  be  tempered  with  just 
enough  of  change  to  spare  them  too  poignant  pain. 

Your  kindness  [wrote  Miss  Bird]  gave  us  both  such 
a  singular  feeling.  Nothing  makes  a  place  so  like 
home  as  the  presence  of  those  who  love  us,  and  in 
returning  to  Edinburgh  I  do  feel  it  more  homey 
than  any  other  place  can  be,  even  apart  from  its 
sacred  memories.  We  very  much  like  the  alterations, 
but  we  have  replaced  the  sideboard,  for  its  removal 
made  the  room  look  too  unlike  the  one  in  which 
my  treasure  lived  and  died. 

While    at    Farnham    Castle    with    the    Bishop    of 


i866]  THE  OUTER   HEBRIDES  65 

Winchester,  Miss  Bird  put  into  literary  shape  her 
notes  of  the  tour  made  in  1860  to  the  Outer  Hebrides, 
for  which  she  had  taken  sketches  on  the  spot.  Both 
she  and  her  sister  were  artists,  Henrietta  the  finer 
of  the  two.  Her  journal  made  five  papers  for  The 
Leisure  Hour  of  September  and  October,  1867,  which 
record  her  voyage  to  North  Uist  and  her  visits  in 
H.M.S.  Shamrock  and  H.M.S.  Rose  to  South  Bernera, 
Barra,  Vallay,  Baleshere,  Benbecula,  Grimasay,  and 
South  Uist,  and  end  sadly :  "  The  islands  are  but  '  a 
fisherman's  walk,  two  steps  and  overboard/  hummocks 
of  rock  rising  out  of  desolate,  rainy  seas,  deserts 
without  an  oasis,  the  sport  of  winds  and  waves." 

Henrietta  Bird  devoted  herself  to  study  more  than 
ever.  She  worked  at  Hebrew,  Greek,  and  Latin  and 
lived  her  own  gentle  life,  shrinking  from  Edinburgh 
dinners  and  parties,  but  cultivating  some  quiet 
friendships  and  giving  a  radiant  welcome  to  all 
Isabella's  visitors.  Her  artistic  power  had  grown 
with  constant  practice  in  the  Highlands,  and  many 
a  lovely  scene  in  sunset  light  or  morning  glory  was 
caught  and  kept  by  her  skilled  hand.  There  was 
an  inspiration  in  Henrietta  as  true  and  almost  as 
powerful  as  in  Isabella,  but  it  expressed  itself  in 
beautiful  thoughts  and  reveries  ;  in  loving  deeds  that 
her  own  left  hand  was  not  permitted  to  know ;  in 
extraordinary  acquaintance  with  the  Scriptures,  for 
whose  sake  she  studied  both  Hebrew  and  Greek ;  in 
poetry  and  in  painting,  both  arts  delicately  used  to 
utter  the  expression  of  her  own  soul,  pure,  gentle, 
tender,  and  self-suppressing. 

Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie  had  realised  by  the 
autumn  of  1866  their  dream  of  a  Highland  home, 
and  Altnacraig  stood  complete  on  a  little  plateau 
above  the  Sound  of  Kerrera,  a  place  to  be  remembered 


66  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  m 

by  all  who  were  honoured  with  the  freedom  of  its 
gracious  hospitality.  One  of  its  earliest  invited  guests 
was  Miss  Bird,  but  she  could  not  go  that  sad  autumn, 
and  it  was  wiser  for  her  to  refrain  from  scenes  which 
acutely  reminded  her  of  the  beloved  dead. 

Both  sisters  went  to  Oban  in  the  summer  of  1867 
and  visited  many  old  haunts,  but  Isabella  still 
shrank  from  Altnacraig,  for  the  Professor's  house 
was  full  of  guests,  and  she  preferred  quiet  weeks 
with  Miss  Clayton,  who  let  her  occupy  herself 
exactly  as  she  wished  to  do.  She  wrote  towards 
the  close  of  summer : 

I  should  not  like  to  be  the  skeleton  at  the  feast. 
Instead  I  hope  to  go  with  you  to  Ardrishaig  on 
Monday,  when  I  may  have  a  chance  of  a  quiet  talk 
with  you.  Hennie  and  I  have  been  spending  a  very 
interesting  day  at  Lismore.  No  place  in  the  Highlands 
has  equally  happy  associations  to  me. 

But  next  year  she  made  out  the  visit  to  Altnacraig, 
and  a  letter  written  on  July  20  suggests  how  it 
had  charmed  her: 

Altnacraig  is  constantly  before  me  in  its  perfect 
beauty ;  it  spoils  one  for  everything  else.  I  only 
feel  that  if  I  lived  there  as  long  as  you  do  I  should 
be  in  danger  of  practising  Edgar  Poe's  heartless 
maxim — "  Forget  the  painful,  suppress  the  disagree- 
able, banish  the  ugly."  My  visit  was  delicious  at 
the  time  and  is  delicious  in  memory,  as  a  brief, 
bright  episode  of  peace.  Vainly  I  waved  from  the 
deck  of  the  Chevalier  \  The  blue  smoke,  as  from  a 
newly  lighted  fire,  curled  lazily  up  from  your  kitchen 
chimney,  your  blinds  were  all  drawn,  and  I  mentally 
ejaculated,  '"Go  to  the  ant,  you  sluggards!"  It 
looked  so  lovely,  I  wished  I  had  just  begun  my  visit. 

During  the  winter  and  spring  of  1868  Miss  Bird 
was  occupied  with  the  appalling  conditions  of  the 
Old  Town  of  Edinburgh.  The  subject  came  to 

i868]        NOTES  ON  OLD  EDINBURGH          67 

her  notice  through  the  work  done  by  Dr.  Guthrie's 
Ragged  Schools,  upon  which  she  had  written  an 
article  for  The  Leisure  Hour  in  1861,  and  her  interest 
was  quickened  by  acquaintance  with  the  Pleasance 
Mission  and  the  efforts  being  made  in  the  Cowgate, 
Cannongate,  and  Vennel. 

Now  that  her  emigration  work  was  over,  she 
turned  her  special  attention  to  the  perplexing  problem 
of  helping  the  unhappy  denizens  of  these  slums. 
She  visited  the  tenements  where  they  congregated 
in  squalor  and  filth,  making  little  effort  at  cleanliness, 
since  it  was  hopeless  to  keep  clean  what  in  weariness 
they  scrubbed ;  for  added  to  the  foulness  of  their 
rooms  was  a  most  inadequate  water  service,  and 
they  could  count  on  its  supply  for  only  three  hours 
in  each  day.  Whisky  was  unlimited,  and  its  taps 
flowed  at  every  corner.  It  cost  money,  indeed,  but 
then  it  gave  respite  in  drunken  dreams  from  the 
hideousness  of  waking  life;  it  meant  ruin  of  body 
and  soul,  torture  of  children,  hatred  of  one  another, 
brawling  and  murder,  but  it  also  meant  excitement, 
that  dreadful  drama,  ever  in  action  on  street  and  stair- 
case, which  is  so  often  an  absorbing  tragedy.  And 
all  because  for  generations  the  poor  had  been  penned 
into  what  was  deemed  their  proper  place,  and  they 
had  matriculated  there  in  vice  and  misery,  making 
perpetual  riot,  because  they  had  never  known  what 
cleanliness  and  peace  of  soul  and  body  meant.  Early 
in  1869  Miss  Bird  wrote  her  Notes  on  Old  Edinburgh, 
and  spared  no  detail  of  the  civic  shame. 

She  put  her  name  as  the  writer  of  The  English- 
woman in  America  upon  its  title-page,  and  attributed 
to  that  its  great  success ;  but,  indeed,  men's  minds, 
hearts,  and  eyes  were  opening  to  look  upon  the 
distressful  existence  of  the  masses,  and  to  haste  to 

68  EDINBURGH   AND  WORK       [CHAP,  m 

their  rescue,  and  since  that  time  the  cause  of  the 
poor  has  been  the  war-cry  of  an  army  of  God's 
servants.  But  then  philanthropy  was  only  rubbing 
its  eyes  awake  from  slumber.  It  seemed  to  be 
exclusively  the  role  of  great  men  and  women — John 
Howard,  Elizabeth  Fry,  Wilberforce,  Thomas  Guthrie 
— and  their  helpers  ;  it  had  not  then  become  a  prin- 
ciple in  each  individual  life,  as  it  is  growing  to  be. 
Miss  Bird's  brain  was  busy  with  the  problem,  and 
schemes  for  a  measure  of  cleanliness  occurred  to  her 
as  possible  in  the  meantime,  until  town  councillors 
and  landlords  should  be  coerced  into  action.  So 
she  spent  five  weeks  of  the  winter  in  London  to 
inform  herself  thoroughly  in  the  details  of  a  practic- 
able project,  and  visited  several  wash-houses  estab- 
lished in  the  East  End  for  the  convenience  of  its 
overcrowded  population. 

Admiral  and  Mrs.  Otter  lent  her  and  her  sister 
the  manor-house  at  Oban  for  a  month  of  the  early 
summer  of  1869,  induced  by  Dr.  Moir's  verdict  that 
Miss  Bird  must  go  to  the  sea,  sleep  on  the  ground 
floor,  and  be  out  in  a  boat  most  of  the  day.  This 
hospitable  offer  was  accepted  from  the  middle  of 
May,  and  was  extended  to  nearly  the  end  of  June, 
as  the  Otters  remained  absent  from  home  till  then. 
On  June  2  she  was  so  much  better  that  Henrietta 
left  her  to  pay  some  visits  in  England,  and  had 
hardly  gone  when  her  sister  was  seized  with  inflam- 
mation of  the  throat,  and  was  "  as  ill  as  could  be 
with  choking,  aching,  leeches,  poultices,  doctors  twice 
a  day,  etc." 

Fortunately  Miss  Clayton  was  able  to  hasten 
northwards  to  nurse  her,  but  much  of  June  was 
wasted  in  illness  and  spent  in  her  bedroom,  which 
happily  had  a  lovely  view  and  received  the  westering 

,869]  MI$S  CLAYTON  69 

sunshine.  Before  June  ended  she  was  able  to  be  out 
again,  and  row  gently  about  the  coast  and  across  to 

Before  the  publication  of  her  Notes  on  Old  Edinburgh, 
by  Messrs.  Edmonstone  &  Douglas,  much  of  her  time 
was  spent  with  Miss  Clayton  and  the  Miss  Kers,  who 
lived  at  28  Rutland  Square.  Miss  Clayton  had  helped 
to  nurse  Mrs.  Bird  in  1866,  and  was  dear  to  Isabella  as 
a  sister.  Although  the  flat  at  3  Castle  Terrace  was 
retained  till  the  spring  of  1872,  her  great  spinal 
weakness  made  the  stair  an  obstacle  at  times  of 
greater  suffering  than  usual,  and  it  was  Miss 
"•Clayton's  pleasure  to  have  her  as  a  guest,  and  to 
nurse  her.  She  was  a  woman  of  exceptionally 
bright  intelligence,  always  entering  fully  into  Miss 
Bird's  interests,  and  they  enjoyed  each  other's  society. 
When  she  stayed  at  28  Rutland  Square,  Miss 
Clayton  went  to  her  room  immediately  after  break- 
fast, and  they  had  an  hour  of  talk  before  the 
busy  day  began.  Isabella's  energy  was  a  constant 
source  of  anxiety  to  Miss  Clayton,  who  used  vainly 
to  remonstrate  with  her  when  she  attempted  ex- 
peditions for  which  she  seemed  bodily  unfit,  and 
from  which  she  always  returned  in  a  state  of 
collapse ;  and  at  these  vain  entreaties  Isabella  would 
compare  her  to  a  mother-hen  distracted  with  the 
doings  of  her  duckling  brood,  and  would  call  her 
"  Hen "  in  affectionate  raillery. 



OF  the  early  summer  of  1870  we  have  but  scanty 
record.  Henrietta  Bird  spent  July  in  lodgings  at 
Tobermory,  but  in  that  month  Isabella  was  at  home, 
frail  and  in  pain.  Dr.  Moir  suggested  a  steel  net 
to  support  her  head  at  the  back  when  she  required 
to  sit  up,  her  suffering  being  caused  by  the  weight 
of  her  head  on  a  diseased  spine.  During  the  last 
week  of  July  she  was  sufficiently  relieved  by  this 
contrivance  to  take  great  pleasure  in  an  unexpected 
visit  from  her  cousins  Professor  Lawson l  and  his 
elder  brother,  whom  she  had  not  seen  for  fifteen 

I  enjoyed  their  coming  [she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Blackie], 
they  were  so  lively  and  so  affectionate  and  enthusiastic 
about  Edinburgh  and  Scotland.  It  was  so  funny,  sud- 
denly to  find  myself  playing  hostess  to  two  charming 
young  men.  Hennie  has  only  come  home  to  renew 
her  clothes  and  go  back  to  Tobermory.  I  spent  one 
evening  with  Lady  Emma  Campbell,  and  on  Friday 
she  brought  Sir  John  McNeill  to  afternoon  tea  with 
me.  She  says  that  "with  her  infinite  happiness  an 
infinite  terror  is  linked  I  "  She  is  indescribably  happy 
and  so  fascinating — all  tenderness,  womanliness,  and 
brightness.  Read  Studious  Women,  by  Bishop  Dupan- 
loup.  I  like  it  better  than  any  of  the  contributions 
to  the  literature  of  the  women  question.  Oh,  how 
I  hate  this  war — all  wars  I  Do  not  you  long  for  a  King 

1  Professor  of  Botany  and  Rural  Economy  at  Oxford. 

i87o]  APPLECROSS  71 

to  come  whose  title  to  universal  dominion  shall  be 
Righteousness,  and  in  whose  beneficent  reign  men  shall 
learn  war  no  more  ? 

During  her  long  days  of  prostration  she  read 
incessantly.  She  had  the  freedom  of  Professor 
Blackie's  library,  and  ends  this  letter  with  :  "  Lend 
me  the  Seven  Lamps  of  Architecture  and  Matthew 
Arnold's  Poems,  the  volume  which  contains  '  Em- 
pedocles  on  Etna.' "  Later  she  went  first  to  London, 
and  then  north,  as  we  learn  from  Lady  Middleton, 
who  writes: 

I  first  knew  Isabella  Bird  in  1870.  Travelling  up 
to  Applecross  in  the  same  boat  as  her  sister  Henrietta, 
we  fraternised,  and  she  told  me  Miss  Bird  was  coming 
up  to  visit  a  "  ladies'  school  "  on  the  Applecross  estate. 
I  told  my  mother-in-law,  who  invited  her  to  make 
Applecross  House  her  hotel  for  the  two  or  three  days 
she  required  to  be  on  the  place.  From  that  time 
began  a  friendship  that  lasted — notwithstanding  gaps 
sometimes  of  years  in  contact  of  communication — till 
her  death. 

Mrs.  Bishop's  first  letter  to  Lady  Middleton — then 
the  Hon.  Mrs.  Willoughby — supplements  this  earliest 
of  many  recollections  and  gives  a  detailed  account 
of  her  project  for  helping  the  Edinburgh  poor.  It 
is  also  interesting  for  its  allusion  to  Miss  Gordon 
Gumming,  whom  she  met  for  the  first  time  at 
Applecross,  and  with  whom  she  maintained  a  warm 
and  admiring  friendship  in  after  years. 

The  letter  is  dated  September  29,  1870,  from 
Balmacarra  House,  Ross-shire : 

,.,.;•  P"     ;*/  j? .         '     ,'  >    '  •  "•    , .  •  ' ;  i    i  ( •""'*>  v'v     > - 

I  received  your  very  welcome  note  on  my  arrival 
here  from  Loch  Hourn,  but  a  wretched  cold  which 
continues  to  stultify  my  intellect  has  prevented  me 
from  answering  it.  I  wished  to  say,  in  answer  to 
your  generous  thought,  that  since  my  "  wicked  book  " 
\_Notes  on  Old  Edinburgh]  was  written,  several  taps  or 
spigots  have  been  placed  in  closes,  which  formerly 

72  IN  JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

depended  on  that  one  well ;  also  that  in  the  present 
state  of  things,  with  six  reservoirs  out  of  seven  abso- 
lutely dry,  and  rich  as  well  as  poor  dependent  on  a 
supply  during  only  three  hours  of  the  day,  the  new 
water-trust  is  unable  to  sanction  even  the  erection  of 
a  drinking-fountain,  much  less  such  a  well  as  you  so 
kindly  propose.  So  the  poor  must  continue  to  suffer 
and  to  slake  their  thirst  with  the  whisky  which  stimu- 
lated it,  till  true  notions  of  love  and  justice  control  the 
wretched  landlords,  who  are  making  wealth  out  of 
the  dismal  dens  which  they  call  "house  property." 
In  the  meantime,  owing  to  the  "  city  improvements," 
which  consist  in  pulling  down  the  old  houses  and 
building  handsome,  high-rented  streets  on  their 
sites,  the  overcrowding  is  worse  even  than  it  was 
when  I  described  it.  Several  thousand  pounds  are 
forthcoming  for  the  purpose  of  either  rendering  habit- 
able the  substantial  stone  carcases  of  these  old  houses, 
or  of  building  new  ones,  as  may  seem  most  feasible— 
the  rents  of  rooms  fit  to  be  human  abodes  not  to 
exceed  the  rent  demanded  for  these  dark  and  airless 
lairs.  But  renovating  and  building  alike  take  time. 
I  am  anxious  to  set  a-going  some  means  of  temporary 
relief  of  two  kinds.  First,  to  hire  rooms  in  several 
of  the  lowest  quarters  of  the  town,  and  fit  each  room 
with  a  portable  boiler,  a  mangle,  an  ironing-stove,  and 
ironing-boards.  This  can  be  done,  I  learned  in  London, 
for  £50  a  room.  These  wash-houses  should  be  open 
to  twelve  or  more  women  every  day  on  paying  for 
their  soap  and  a  trifle  for  fuel,  thus  enabling  our  very 
poorest  to  have  clean  clothes  without  the  difficulty  of 
getting  water  and  without  the  misery  and  unwhole- 
someness  of  the  steam  of  half-washed  clothes  in  their 
dark  and  crowded  rooms.  If  I  can  get  £100  I  shall 
lose  no  time  in  trying  to  start  a  wash-house  in  the 
Grass  Market.  The  other  plan  (which  I  saw  being 
successfully  worked  in  the  East  of  London)  is  to  open 
a  wash-house  with  the  necessary  appliances  for  taking 
in  washing  for  the  poor  at  sixpence  a  dozen.  This 
furnishes  a  labour  test  also,  as  no  women  who  are  not 
industrious  as  well  as  poor  will  wash  such  clothes  at 
15.  ^d.  per  day.  ...  I  wonder  whether  your  aunt 
knows  ladies  of  devotion  and  administrative  ability, 
who  would  learn  to  organise  and  work  the  last 
scheme.  When  I  went  five  weeks  ago  to  investigate 

i8?o]  NEW  FRIENDS  73 

it  in  London,  I  was  proud  of  our  Church  for  being  able 
to  produce  ladies  who  undertook  such  odious  details. 
.  .  .  How  delightful  it  is  that  I  have  been  able  to 
interest  you\  I  got  to  Broadford  by  the  railroad 
steamer,  and  fraternised  with  Mr.  Tosh  and  two 
ladies  at  the  inn  there.  The  next  day  was  the 
communion,  and  I  greatly  enjoyed  the  sight ;  three 
thousand  people  were  present.  On  Monday  I  went 
to  Glenelg,  and  had  a  splendid  drive  of  thirteen  miles 
along  an  awful  road  to  Arnisdale,  far  up  Loch  Hourn. 
I  longed  for  your  aunt  [Miss  Gordon  Gumming],  for 
the  scenery  was  grand  beyond  all  description,  such 
richness  and  depth  as  well  as  brilliancy  both  of  local 
and  atmospheric  colouring.  My  sister  joined  me  at 
Glenelg,  and  we  came  on  here  on  the  2oth.  ...  I 
cannot  tell  how  happily  those  two  days  passed  at 
Applecross,  or  how  grateful  I  feel  to  you  for  making 
me  acquainted  with  yourself  and  Lady  Middleton  and 
her  family.  It  is  indeed  a  delight,  not  to  be  forgotten, 
the  seeing  such  a  happy  and  beautiful  family  life. 
Among  the  enjoyments  of  those  two  days  I  do  not 
forget  my  acquaintance  with  your  aunt,  which  is  to 
be  renewed,  I  hope,  in  the  winter.  As  I  saw  you  all 
grouped  at  the  door,  I  wondered  how  it  was  that  I 
telt  so  much  regret  at  parting  with  people  whose 
acquaintance  I  had  only  made  three  days  previously. 

Miss  Gordon  Gumming  had  just  returned  from 
India,  Egypt,  and  Malta,  as  she  tells  us  in  her  recently 
published  Memories,  and  was  staying  at  Applecross. 
She  remembers  how — 

One  morning  Lady  Middleton  announced  that  she 
had  to  take  a  somewhat  distant  expedition  by  boat  to 
fetch  a  lady  who  was  doing  a  tour  of  inspection  of 
schools  in  the  Highlands  and  Islands,  which  she  was 
accomplishing  in  the  simplest  manner,  walking  or 
boating  from  point  to  point,  and  having  sometimes  to 
make  the  best  of  very  rough  quarters.  In  the  evening 
Lady  Middleton  returned  accompanied  by  a  tiny  and 
very  quiet  little  lady,  and  we  all  wondered  at  her 
pluck  in  undertaking  such  arduous  journeying  all 
alone.  I  was  at  that  time  writing  my  very  big  book, 
From  the  Hebrides  to  the  Himalayas,  being  keenly 

74  IN  JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

interested  in  various  points  of  resemblance  between 
the  old  customs  of  both  races,  and  my  large  portfolio 
of  Indian  sketches  gave  daily  amusement  to  all  visitors. 
Naturally,  Miss  Bird  was  interested  in  these  subjects, 
but  she  had  to  hurry  away  to  inspect  more  schools. 

Lady  Middleton  goes  on  to  say : 

When  I  first  knew  her,  she  was  a  very  extraordinary 
woman.  Her  quiet,  slow,  deliberate  manner  of  speech 
might  have  been  a  little  tedious  in  one  less  gifted  ;  but 
when  the  measured  sentences  at  last  came  forth,  you 
felt  they  had  been  worth  waiting  for.  She  had  very 
projecting  upper  teeth  then,  and  they  may  have 
affected  her  utterance,  but  she  had  the  pluck  to  have 
them  replaced. 

This  tour  in  the  Highlands  included  the  examination 
of  eleven  schools  altogether,  and  she  was  surprised  to 
find  how  efficiently  the  children  were  taught  in  those 
remote  and  often  lonely  places. 

Next  winter,  Henrietta  was  busy  with  Greek,  for 
Professor  Blackie  had  begun  his  class  for  ladies,  whilst 
Isabella  was  obliged  to  go  to  London  to  see  a  specialist, 
who  sent  her  home  "  to  stay  in  bed  and  keep  as  quiet 
as  if  I  had  a  fever," — so  for  a  time  she  saw  no  one,  went 
nowhere,  and  rested  the  greater  part  of  the  twenty- 
four  hours.  Perhaps  her  autumn  exertions  brought 
on  this  collapse.  The  old  insomnia  returned,  and  her 
nervous  system  was  affected.  A  constant  distress 
assailed  her  spirits  and  kept  her  in  mental  as  well  as 
physical  anguish.  When  sleep  returned,  and  with  it 
relief  from  this  depression,  she  gave  utterance  to  her 
experience  in  a  beautiful  poem,  well  known  to  her 
most  intimate  friends,  and  comforting  to  many. 


Fevered  by  long  unrest,  of  conflict  weary, 
Sickened  by  doubt,  writhing  with  inward  pain, 

My  spirit  cries  from  out  the  midnight  dreary 
For  the  old  long-lost  days  of  peace  again. 

i87o]  "OUT  OF  THE  DEPTHS"  75 

Gone  is  my  early  Heaven,  with  all  its  radiant  story 
Of  fiery  throne  and  glassy  sea,  and  sapphire  blaze, 

Its  white-robed  throng,  palm-bearing,  crowned  with  golden  glory, 
Its  ceaseless  service  of  unhindered  praise. 

Vanished  my  early  faith,  with  all  its  untold  treasure 

Of  steadfast  calm  and  questionless  repose 
Bartered  away — lost  for  a  heaped-up  measure 

Of  strife  and  doubt  and  fears  and  mental  woes. 

No  Light  1  no  Life  1  no  Truth  !  now  from  my  soul  for  ever 
The  last  dim  star  withdraws  its  glimmering  ray ; 

Lonely  and  hopeless,  never  on  me,  oh  never, 
Shall  break  the  dawn  of  the  long-looked-for  day. 

Rudder  and  anchor  gone,  on  through  the  darkness  lonely 

I  drift  o'er  shoreless  seas  to  deeper  night, 
Drifting,  still  drifting — oh,  for  one  glimmer  only, 

One  blessed  ray  of  Truth's  unerring  light ! 

Out  of  the  depths  I  cry— my  anguished  soul  revealing, 

"  Light  in  the  darkness  shining  !  shed  Thy  life-giving  ray : 
Low  at  Thy  cross  I  fall,  I  plead  for  aid  and  healing, 

0  Christ !  reveal  Thyself  and  turn  my  night  to  day  ! " 

The  prayer  is  heard,  else  why  this  strange  returning 

To  stranger  peace,  to  calm  unknown  before? 
The  peace  of  doubt  dispelled,  the  calm  of  vanquished  yearning, 

A  deeper,  truer  rest  than  that  of  yore. 

O  Saviour- Man  1  Priest,  but  in  garments  royal ! 

Thyself  the  Truth !  Thyself  the  inner  life  ! 
While  at  Thy  feet  I  kneel  in  homage  loyal, 

1  hear  unmoved  the  weary  din  of  strife. 

The  din  of  impious  men,  for  ever  thronging 

The  sacred  threshold  of  the  unrevealed — 
Smitten  with  blindness,  and  the  hopeless  longing 

To  force  the  door  which  Thou  Thyself  hast  sealed. 

Farewell,  my  early  Heaven  !     Brighter  the  life  victorious 
Of  which  Thou  art  the  joy,  the  breath,  the  light  ; 

While  on  Thy  throne,  the  Church,  Thy  Bride  most  glorious 
Beside  Thee  sits,  arrayed  in  mystic  white. 

Farewell,  my  early  faith  I     Better  the  trust  unshaken 
With  which  in  child-like  love  I  grasp  Thy  pierced  hand, 

Child-like  to  learn  of  Thee,  until  I  waken 

Blest  with  Thy  likeness  in  Thine  own  bright  land. 

Content  to  wait,  till  days  of  darkened  vision 

And  lisping  speech  and  childish  thought  are  done, 

And  knowledge  vanishes  in  faith's  fruition 

As  fading  stars  before  the  morning  sun.  I.  L.  B. 

76  IN  JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

When  spring  came  she  was  sufficiently  restored  to 
see  friends  and  to  write  a  little.  It  was  early  in  1871 
that  she  began  a  series  of  papers  on  eighteenth- 
century  hymn-writers,  Wesley,  Watts,  Cowper,  and 

Miss  Cullen  was  privileged  to  see  her  often,  when 
her  weakness  forbade  visits  from  others,  and  she  and 
Miss  Clayton  were  much  with  her  during  those  months 
of  retirement. 

The  Rev.  George  Cullen,  too,  was  a  welcome 
friend.  He  had  co-operated  with  her  in  all  her 
work  for  others,  the  emigration  from  Skye,  the 
effort  to  do  something  to  relieve  the  wretchedness 
of  the  poor.  He  was  endeared  to  both  sisters  by 
his  regard  for  their  mother,  and  he  had  officiated  at 
her  funeral  in  the  Dean  Cemetery,  reading  a  passage 
from  Scripture  which  Henrietta  pointed  out — perhaps 
that  from  which  was  chosen  the  line  upon  her  tomb- 
stone— Phil.  i.  20-24.  If  so,  it  was  Mrs.  Bird's  own 
choice,  for  by  her  wish  the  words  were  engraved, 
"To  be  with  Christ,  which  is  far  better." 

His  early  correspondence  with  Miss  Bird  has 
been  mentioned,  and  his  own  account  of  it,  written 
in  1880,  explains  it: 

In  1858,  when  trying  by  the  formation  of  the  Union 
Prayer  Meeting  to  carry  out  a  resolution  which  I  had 
formed  in  Malvern  during  the  Mutiny  in  India,  I 
had  to  collect  and  send  out  intelligence  of  the  Revival 
in  America  and  elsewhere.  Among  other  sources  of 
information  I  prized  greatly  the  letters  that  appeared 
in  The  Patriot  newspaper,  from  a  lady.  When  after- 
wards I  was  asked  to  prepare  a  summary  of  this  intel- 
ligence for  very  extensive  circulation,  I  drew  largely 
from  these  letters.  On  publication  of  the  pamphlet, 
I  wished  to  send  a  copy  to  the  writer,  but  not  knowing 
her  address  I  forwarded  it  to  the  editor  of  the  news- 
paper. It  reached  the  lady,  and  in  a  very  short  time 

i872]  VOYAGE  TO   NEW  YORK  77 

I  heard  from  her  from  a  rectory  in  Huntingdonshire, 
and  this  led  to  a  correspondence  with  Miss  Bird  and 
with  her  excellent  father. 

It  seems  to  have  been  about  autumn-time  that 
Dr.  Moir  and  Dr.  Grainger  Stewart  urged  her  to 
take  a  sea-voyage.  She  chose  a  short  one,  for  she 
felt  unwilling  to  leave  her  sister  and  home  for  more 
than  a  few  months.  They  decided  to  give  up  the 
flat  at  the  May  term  of  1872,  as  the  possibility  of 
further  absences  and  Henrietta's  growing  attach- 
ment to  Tobermory  made  its  retention  almost  an 

Miss  Bird  engaged  a  berth  through  Mr.  Dunlop 
in  a  steamer  bound  for  New  York,  and  chartered 
to  go  up  the  Mediterranean  on  its  return,  in  order 
to  visit  ports  in  Italy,  Algeria,  Spain,  and  Portugal 
before  making  for  Liverpool.  She  was  furnished 
with  an  introduction  to  Mr.  James  Robertson  by 
Mr.  Thomas  Nelson,  whose  publishing  firm  Mr. 
Robertson  represented  in  New  York.  When  the 
steamer  arrived  he  called  on  her,  and  finding  her 
living  on  board,  he  invited  her  to  stay  at  his  house 
during  the  few  weeks  of  detention.  But  she  was 
too  ill  to  make  much  use  of  her  visit,  and  returned 
from  the  trip  less  benefited  than  her  doctors  had 

Her  sister  had  become  much  attached  to  Tobermory, 
where  she  stayed  part  of  every  summer  with  her 
friends  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Macfarlane,  at  the  Baptist 
Manse.  Mr.  Macfarlane  was,  however,  now  "  trans- 
lated "  to  Tiree,  so  she  made  arrangements  with 
Mrs.  Thomson,  of  Ulva  Cottage,  whither  she  trans- 
ferred her  belongings,  and  there,  in  an  upper  room, 
she  stayed  as  long  as  the  summer  permitted.  It  was 
not  till  1874  that  she  found  quarters  in  Strongarbh 

78  IN   JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

Cottage,  which  two  years  later  she  rented  from  the 
Free  Church  of  Tobermory.  After  giving  up  3  Castle 
Terrace,  and  seeing  her  sister  off  to  Mull,  Miss  Bird 
started  again  for  a  more  prolonged  cruise,  under 
orders  to  shift  the  scene  as  much  as  possible,  and 
to  remain  within  the  curative  influences  of  sea  and 
mountain  air.  Mr.  Dunlop  made  her  arrangements, 
and  she  left  Edinburgh  for  Australia  on  July  11, 
1872,  for  an  absence  prolonged  to  eighteen  months — 
desolate  at  parting  with  Henrietta,  and  quoting  in 
her  diary  the  rebellious  cry:  "All  his  days  he  eateth 
in  darkness,  and  he  hath  much  sorrow  and  wrath 
with  his  sickness." 

Early  next  morning  the  steamer  left  its  anchorage, 
and  she  had  to  conquer  a  strong  impulse  to  quit 
and  go  back  before  it  was  fairly  under  way.  For 
weeks  she  was  dejected,  dull,  and  uncomfortable ; 
but  when  the  line  was  crossed,  and  the  weather 
grew  cool  with  favouring  winds,  she  began  to  take 
an  interest  in  her  fellow  passengers  and  to  bring  her 
work  upon  deck.  It  was  an  elaborate  piece  of  bead- 
work,  which  she  found  rather  inconvenient,  but 
pursued  to  the  finish.  Then  in  September  she 
caught  a  chill,  and  was  so  prostrated  that  the 
captain  thought  she  was  dying.  There  were  many 
disagreeables  to  add  to  her  suffering — loud  quarrels, 
noisy  complaints,  a  dirty  stewardess,  and,  above  all, 
vile  conversation  only  too  audible.  It  was  not  till 
Saturday,  October  5,  that  she  reached  Melbourne, 
where  she  was  met  and  hospitably  housed  by  friends 
to  whom  she  bore  an  introduction.  She  stayed  nearly 
two  months  in  Australia,  experiencing  all  its  varieties 
of  weather — dust-storms,  drought,  and  rain ;  and, 
except  for  much  hospitality,  not  greatly  appreciating 
its  life,  scenery,  and  sights.  The  bush  interested 

i873]  THE  SEA  79 

her  most,  and  she  notes  its  gum,  acacia,  bottlebrush, 
and  blackwood  trees. 

On  November  28  she  left  for  Invercargill  in  a 
small  crowded  steamer,  its  decks  loaded  with  a  cargo 
of  sheep  and  horses,  and,  what  was  worse,  with  a  lunatic 
in  the  berth  next  to  hers.  But  a  week  later  she 
changed  steamers  at  Port  Chalmers  and  went  on  to 
Dunedin,  where  Mr.  Blair  met  her  and  took  her  to  an 
hotel.  New  Zealand  must  have  been  at  its  worst  that 
summer  at  the  Antipodes,  for  she  has  no  good  word  to 
say  of  it,  although  she  liked  its  people  greatly  and 
visited  both  the  Otago  and  Canterbury  settlements 
thoroughly.  Heat  and  dust  prevailed,  and  she  was 
appalled  by  the  drunkenness  everywhere. 

She  left  for  the  Sandwich  Islands  on  January  i,  1873, 
and  after  an  adventurous  voyage  in  an  unseaworthy 
vessel,  described  in  her  book  Six  Months  in  the  Sandwich 
Islands,  she  reached  Honolulu  on  January  25,  and 
took  up  her  quarters  at  the  Hawaiian  Hotel.  That,  by 
this  time,  she  was  in  much  better  health  is  evidenced 
by  her  enjoyment  of  the  voyage,  one  which  at  several 
stages  threatened  danger.  When  she  was  well  she 
delighted  in  the  sea,  and  a  letter  written  to  Mrs.  Blackie 
about  this  time  contains  a  rapturous  passage  on  its 
attractions : 

At  last  [she  wrote]  I  am  in  love,  and  the  old  sea-god 
has  so  stolen  my  heart  and  penetrated  my  soul  that 
I  seriously  feel  that  hereafter,  though  I  must  be  else- 
where in  body,  I  shall  be  with  him  in  spirit !  My  two 
friends  on  board  this  ship  have  several  times  told  me 
that  I  have  imbibed  the  very  spirit  of  the  sea.  It  is  to 
me  like  living  in  a  new  world,  so  free,  so  fresh,  so  vital, 
so  careless,  so  unfettered,  so  full  of  interest  that  one 
grudges  being  asleep;  and,  instead  of  carrying  cares  and 
worries  and  thoughts  of  the  morrow  to  bed  with  one 
to  keep  one  awake,  one  falls  asleep  at  once  to  wake 
to  another  day  in  which  one  knows  that  there  can  be 

8o  IN  JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

nothing  to  annoy  one — no  door-bells, no  "please  mems," 
no  dirt,  no  bills,  no  demands  of  any  kind,  no  vain 
attempts  to  overtake  all  one  knows  one  should  do. 
Above  all,  no  nervousness,  and  no  conventionalities, 
no  dressing.  It  sounds  a  hideously  selfish  life,  but  in 
the  inevitably  intimate  association  of  people  in  all  cir- 
cumstances for  months  of  almost  entire  isolation, 
human  relations  spring  up  and  human  interests  and  in 
some  instances  warm  feelings  of  regard,  which  have 
a  tendency  to  keep  selfishness  in  a  degree  under. 

AU  the  world  knows  how  this  delight  extended  to 
her  land  adventures  in  the  Sandwich  Islands,  whose 
marvels  of  scenery,  volcanic  mountains  in  action, 
valleys,  forests,  rivers  and  coasts,  glorious  vegetation, 
and  political  social  and  religious  life  fascinated  her 
into  a  residence  of  seven  months. 

From  the  Sandwich  Islands  she  sailed  to  America, 
spent  some  months  at  a  Sanatorium  in  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  achieved  her  famous  ride  and  then  made 
her  way  to  New  York  and  stayed  with  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Robertson  till  her  steamer  sailed  for  Liverpool. 

All  her  detailed  letters  were  written  to  Henrietta, 
who  kept  them  carefully.  A  small  group  of  her  most 
intimate  friends  had  the  privilege  of  reading  them— 
Miss  Clayton,  Miss  Cullen,  Mrs.  Blackie,  sometimes 
Mrs.  Smith,  widow  of  the  author  of  a  book  widely  read 
in  its  day,  The  Conflict  of  Opinions,  and  a  woman 
endowed  herself  with  gifts  of  mind  and  heart,  who 
could  value  those  of  Miss  Bird. 

She  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  from  Black  Cafion, 
Colorado,  on  December  13,  1873,  respecting  these 
letters : 

The  seven  months  in  the  Sandwich  Islands  was  a 
period  of  the  most  intense  interest  and  fascination.  .  .  . 
I  wrote  journal  letters  to  my  sister  of  a  highly  de- 
scriptive kind,  and  even  with  the  disadvantage  of 
laborious  accuracy.  They  are  enthusiastic  enough  to 


have  awakened  a  great  deal  of  enthusiasm  amongst  my 
friends  at  home,  and  they  are  very  anxious  that  I 
should  publish  my  experiences,  on  the  ground  that 
there  is  no  modern  book  of  travels  in  Hawaii-nei  worth 
anything,  and  that  my  acquaintance  with  the  islands 
is  thorough  enough  to  justify  me  in  giving  it  to  the 

Dr.  Blaikie  had  tried  to  secure  the  letters  for 
Good  Words,  but  Miss  Bird  felt  them  to  be  worthy 
of  a  less  fragmentary  mode  of  publication. 

On  her  final  return  to  Edinburgh  the  sisters  took 
lodgings  at  17  Melville  Street,  and  there  Mr.  Murray's 
answer  reached  her.  He  requested  further  details 
of  her  wishes  as  to  the  scheme  of  a  book  on  the 
Sandwich  Islands,  and  she  replied  at  once  giving 
her  reasons  for  retaining  the  epistolary  form,  adding 
that  she  had  made  some  sketches  and  collected 
photographs,  plans,  and  maps  sufficient  for  illustration, 
material  enough  altogether  for  an  octavo  volume. 
At  this  time  she  would  have  preferred  her  Rocky 
Mountains  letters  to  be  combined  with  those  from 
the  Sandwich  Islands,  but  deferred  to  Mr.  Murray's 
opinion  that  they  should  be  published  separately. 

Her  immediate  work  therefore  was  the  revision 
of  her  letters,  the  excision  of  a  mass  of  personal 
details,  the  verification  and  correction  of  her  statistics, 
and  the  copying  of  the  whole  into  a  form  fitting  for 
Mr.  Murray's  perusal  and  verdict. 

During  this  lengthy  process  she  spent  some  time 
in  Oban  and  in  Tobermory,  delighted  with  the 
cottage.  Then,  called  south  by  her  relatives  and 
friends,  she  left  for  London  about  the  middle  of 
May.  There  she  paid  Mrs.  Rundle  Charles  a  visit 
in  Hampstead,  heard  a  debate  in  the  House  of 
Commons,  and  a  fine  sermon  by  Dr.  McGee,  Bishop 
of  Peterborough,  in  Westminster  Abbey,  visited 


82  IN  JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

Kew  Gardens  for  the  first  time  and  to  her  great 
delight.  "  They  are  truly  stately,"  she  wrote  to 
Mrs.  Blackie,  "and  the  tropical  houses  satisfied  my 
soul  with  the  beauty  and  redundancy  of  the  tropical 

From  London  she  went  to  stay  with  Mrs.  Brown 
at  Houghton,  and  had  a  week's  boating  on  the  Ouse, 
which  proved  "  even  better  than  I  anticipated,  the 
restored  old  churches  are  ravishing,  and  all  that 
Cowperian  country  was  home  to  me  ;  its  soft,  dreamy 
beauty  of  great  trees  and  green  meadows,  and  a 
silvery,  lilied  river,  was  entirely  perfect." 

When  she  wrote  this  letter  she  was  staying  at 
Knoyle  Rectory,  near  Salisbury,  with  her  cousin 
Mrs.  Milford,  the  Bishop  of  Winchester's  daughter, 
and  was  resting  with  deep  appreciation  of  the  absolute 
peace  of  a  sweet  English  home.  It  enabled  her  to 
complete  about  two-thirds  of  her  manuscript,  which 
she  forwarded  to  Mr.  Murray  on  June  17,  1874.  He 
accepted  it  for  publication,  pending  her  completion 
of  the  work  and  the  arrival  of  maps  and  illustrations, 
which  at  the  time  were  rounding  Cape  Horn. 

In  July  she  returned  to  London  and  stayed  with 
her  aunt,  Mrs.  Harrington  Evans.  It  was  on  this 
occasion  that  her  teeth  broken  in  the  Rockies  were 
replaced,  an  alteration  for  the  better  in  many  ways, 
although  she  declared  that  the  absence  of  her  natural 
front  teeth  detracted  from  the  cheerfulness  of  her 
expression ! 

Plans  for  three  weeks  by  the  Ouse  and  for  a 
pleasant  family  gathering  at  Seaton  Carew  were 
upset  by  Miss  Clayton's  wishing  Miss  Bird  to  join 
her  and  other  friends  in  Switzerland.  So  Henrietta, 
who  had  joined  her  in  London,  returned  to  Tober- 
mory,  and  Isabella  started  on  July  29  for  Hospenthal. 

I874]  MR.   NUGENT  83 

On  the  evening  before  her  journey  she  received  from 
America  news  which  made  her  indescribably  sad.  Her 
guide  in  the  Rocky  Mountains,  known  as  "  Mountain 
Jim,"  was  a  Mr.  Nugent,  a  man  of  good  birth  and 
university  education,  who  had  unhappily  yielded  to 
ruinous  habits  and  had  drifted  down  to  the  precarious 
freedom  of  a  trapper's  life  by  1873,  when  she  met  him. 
His  intercourse  with  her  during  the  weeks  of  her 
enterprise  brought  out  all  that  was  good  and  gracious 
in  the  man,  and  his  care,  forethought,  and  experience 
smoothed  away  difficulties  which  might  otherwise 
have  deterred  even  her  extraordinary  courage.  Her 
influence  over  him  was  wonderful.  He  surrendered 
every  evil  habit,  drinking,  swearing,  quarrelling, 
murderous  fighting,  and  became  what  he  was  meant 
to  be — a  considerate  gentleman,  sympathetic  and 
helpful  in  all  her  interests.  When  she  had  to  bid  him 
farewell  at  Namaqua,  Mr.  Nugent  broke  down  com- 
pletely. "  I  shall  see  you  again,"  he  reiterated.  "  I 
must  see  you  again."  She  spoke  very  gently  to 
him  about  the  one  influence  which  redeems  from 
sin  and  fortifies  the  repentant  sinner,  and  repeated 
to  him  a  text  to  keep  ever  in  his  remembrance,  as 
a  reminder  to  the  unhappy  man,  whom  her  gentleness 
had  restored  to  a  measure  of  self-respect.  Then 
they  promised  each  other  that  after  death,  if  it  were 
permitted,  the  one  taken  would  appear  to  the  other. 
This  parting  gave  her  great  pain,  but  she  felt  that 
Mr.  Nugent  had  undertaken  to  live  a  new  life  and 
that  she  could  help  him  by  prayer  and  by  her  letters. 
Nearly  a  year  had  passed.  Mr.  Nugent's  letters 
gave  evidence  of  continued  steadiness.  Then  sud- 
denly, on  July  25,  came  the  distressing  news  that 
he  was  dead.  Insulted  by  a  man  named  Evans,  he 
was  overcome  by  rage,  and  the  Welshman  shot  him 

84  IN   JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

under  the  impression  that  "  Mountain  Jim "  was 
about  to  murder  him.  He  deeply  regretted  his  tragic 
mistake  and  carried  him  into  his  own  house,  where, 
contrary  to  the  first  report  that  he  had  been  killed 
outright,  he  lingered  for  ten  days.  Miss  Bird  went 
to  Switzerland  full  of  the  distressing  conviction  that 
Jim  had  died  unrepentant,  and  occupied  with  the 
remembrance  of  their  mutual  promise. 

From  Hospenthal  an  almost  immediate  move  was 
made  to  Interlaken,  and  there  one  morning  as  she 
lay  in  bed,  half  unnerved  by  the  shock  of  his  death 
and  half  expectant,  she  saw  "  Mountain  Jim,"  in 
his  trapper's  dress  just  as  she  had  seen  him  last, 
standing  in  the  middle  of  her  room.  He  bowed 
low  to  her  and  vanished.  Then  one  of  her  friends 
came  into  the  room  and  she  told  her  what  had  just 
occurred.  When  exact  news  of  his  death  arrived, 
its  date  coincided  with  that  of  the  vision. 

Torrents  of  rain  made  her  stay  at  Interlaken  very 
dreary,  and  she  was  not  sorry  to  return  to  London 
by  the  middle  of  September,  and  thence  to  go  to  her 
sister  at  Tobermory  till  November,  when  they  took 
up  winter  quarters  at  7  Atholl  Crescent,  Edinburgh. 
Mr.  Murray  decided  to  postpone  the  publication  of 
Six  Months  in  the  Sandwich  Islands  till  February,  1875, 
as  several  new  books  were  to  appear  in  November. 

I  thoroughly  appreciate  [she  wrote]  the  reasons 
you  give  for  delaying  the  publication  of  my  book, 
and  have  pleasure  in  deferring  to  your  experienced 
wisdom.  I  have  seen  small  craft  swamped  in  the 
swell  of  larger  steamers  before  now. 

When  it  came  out  it  met  with  the  most  cordial 
reception ;  men  of  science,  as  well  as  the  reading 
public,  thanked  her  for  the  valuable  addition  made 


by  her  to  the  sum  of  knowledge  ;  and  appreciative 
reviews  appeared  in  all  the  leading  journals. 

Indeed,  her  extraordinary  power  of  observation 
had  grasped  so  much  of  the  natural  history  of  the 
Hawaiian  Archipelago,  and  particularly  such  an 
infinite  number  of  details  concerning  its  active  vol- 
canoes, that  the  islands  were  for  the  first  time  made 
intelligible.  It  is  not  surprising,  therefore,  that 
Nature  reviewed  the  book  with  warmth  not  unmingled 
with  astonishment,  and  that  members  of  the  scientific 
societies  wrote  to  her  with  admiring  congratula- 
tions. But  apart  from  its  valuable  contributions  to 
the  physical  geography,  the  mineral  products,  the 
botanical  redundancy  of  Hawaii-nei,  Six  Months  in  the 
Sandwich  Islands  has  a  charm  of  narrative  very  rare 
in  books  of  travel,  a  charm  doubtless  due  to  the 
freshness  of  impressions  committed  to  language  before 
they  had  time  to  fade  into  an  outline. 

Perhaps  the  result  is  less  artistic,  as  a  whole,  than 
a  well-considered  plan  of  record  might  have  been. 
Details  are  scarcely  less  prominent  than  the  main 
facts,  and  the  reader  becomes  wearied  at  times  of 
reiterated  lists  of  forest  trees  and  mountain  scrub. 
But  the  facts  are  in  themselves  so  important,  and  so 
graphically  presented,  that  they  take  firm  hold  of  the 
memory,  whilst  the  repetitions  lose  themselves  in  a 
general  haze  of  atmosphere,  cliffs,  forest,  and  ferns. 

It  would  have  been  undesirable  even  for  a  traveller 
of  a  prosaic  mind — who  had  seen  all  that  Miss  Bird 
had  seen — to  attempt  to  relate  his  experiences  in  cold- 
blooded literary  form,  with  due  regard  for  perspective, 
and  balance  of  values ;  but,  for  a  person  of  her  tem- 
perament and  personality,  such  a  course  was  im- 
possible. Not  only  are  the  records  of  her  impressions 
of  lighter  things  bright  and  sparkling,  but  even  the 

86  IN   JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

dry  bones  of  her  narrative  are  clothed  in  so  attractive 
and  picturesque  a  veil  as  to  become  interesting  and 

The  literary  charm  of  every  paragraph  and  sentence 
is  obvious,  and  one  reads  the  book  to-day  with  the 
same  eagerness  with  which  one  devoured  it  in  1875. 
The  vividness  of  her  style  is  shown  in  the  following 
passage  on  p.  222,  a  description  of  the  lao  valley 
in  Mani : 

The  trail  leads  down  a  gorge  dark  with  forest  trees, 
and  opens  out  into  an  amphitheatre,  walled  in  by 
precipices  from  three  to  six  thousand  feet  high,  misty 
with  a  thousand  waterfalls,  planted  with  kukuis,  and 
feathery  with  ferns.  A  green-clad  needle  of  stone,  one 
thousand  feet  in  height,  the  last  refuge  of  an  army 
routed  when  the  Wailuku  ran  red  with  blood,  keeps 
guard  over  the  valley.  Other  needles  there  are ;  and 
mimic  ruins  of  bastions,  ramparts,  and  towers  came 
and  passed  mysteriously;  and  the  shining  fronts  of 
turrets  gleamed  through  trailing  mists,  changing  into 
drifting  visions  of  things  that  came  and  went  in  sun- 
shine and  shadow — mountains  raising  battered  peaks 
into  a  cloudless  sky,  green  crags  moist  with  ferns,  and 
mists  of  water  that  could  not  fall,  but  frittered  them- 
selves away  on  slopes  of  maidenhair,  and  depths  of 
forest  and  ferns  in  which  bright  streams  warble 
through  the  summer  years.  Clouds  boiling  up  from 
below  drifted  at  times  across  the  mountain  fronts,  or 
lay  like  snow-masses  in  the  unsunned  chasms ;  and 
over  the  grey  crags  and  piled-up  pinnacles  and 
glorified  green  of  the  marvellous  vision  lay  a  veil  of 
thin  blue  haze,  steeping  the  whole  in  a  serenity  which 
seemed  hardly  to  belong  to  earth. 

Miss  Bird  had  to  pay  the  penalty  of  all  popular 
authors.  Letters  from  the  dreary  fellowship  of  bores 
assailed  her.  Of  one  she  wrote : 

He  has  laid  before  me,  with  the  prolixity  of  a  vale- 
tudinarian, a  whole  host  of  symptoms  fitted  for  the 
consideration  of  a  physician,  given  me  a  personal 

,8753  CABMEN'S   REST  87 

narrative  of  twelve  years,  and  asks  eventually  if  the 
climate  of  Honolulu  would  suit  his  case,  and  if  I  can 
supply  him  with  a  tabular  view  of  the  amount  of  damp 
in  the  atmosphere  for  any  given  six  months. 

In  the  same  letter  she  mentions  that  an  order  for 
fifty  copies  had  arrived  from  Honolulu,  and  that  one 
of  the  Professors  at  Punshan  was  giving  three  readings 
daily  from  her  book. 

She  was  in  wonderful  health  and  spirits  that  spring; 
busied  with  histology  lessons  at  the  Botanical  Gar- 
dens, which  occupied  six  hours  weekly,  for  a  month ; 
entertaining  Canadian  and  American  friends ;  correct- 
ing the  proofs  of  Miss  Gordon  Cumming's  book ; 
attending  the  Assemblies  in  May,  and  giving  three  large 
"  Kettledrums  "  during  the  week  of  their  session.  She 
was  full  of  new  plans,  too,  for  the  help  of  others,  and 
wrote  letters  to  all  the  Town  Councillors  regarding 
a  "  Cabmen's  Rest  and  Refreshment  Room,"  which 
Mrs.  Willoughby  and  she  desired  to  erect.  The 
tenement  scheme  and  the  wash-houses  had  fallen 
through— the  former  for  want  of  official  support,  the 
latter  for  lack  of  a  lady  qualified  to  manage  them 
and  willing  to  give  up  her  time.  As  she  wrote  to 
Mrs.  Willoughby : 

The  difficulty  lies  simply  in  the  fact  that  no  lady 
has  come  forward  to  take  up  and  work  the  scheme. 
Every  one  approves  it  and  thinks  it  would  supply  a 
great  need ;  and  were  any  one  found  to  work  it, 
money  would  be  at  once  forthcoming,  but  this  initial 
difficulty  remains  in  full  force.  It  would  take  the 
whole  time  and  energy  of  one  lady,  and  apparently 
"  dirty  clothes  "  do  not  inspire  enthusiasm. 

There  were  many  difficulties,  too,  in  the  way  of 
the  Cabmen's  Rest,  and  a  labyrinth  of  committees  to 
traverse  before  a  site  could  be  granted. 

88  IN   JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

On  June  7  Miss  Bird  and  her  sister  left  Edinburgh 
for  Beauly,  from  which  place  they  drove  seventeen 
miles  to  Strathglass  in  a  public  conveyance  crammed 
with  fourteen  country-people  not  altogether  sober. 
They  settled  at  Glen  Affric  Hotel  for  a  month,  a 
lonely  spot  in  the  midst  of  a  Roman  Catholic  and 
Gaelic-speaking  population.  The  fatiguing  journey 
brought  on  pain  and  sleeplessness,  and  a  whole  week 
passed  without  an  effort  to  walk  or  drive.  But  she 
had  her  microscope  and  its  many  adjuncts  with  her, 
and  the  friendly  landlady  gave  her  a  small,  empty 
room,  which  she  arranged  as  a  study,  and  there  she 
rested  and  worked,  much  absorbed  with  microscopic 

She  was  revising  her  notes  on  the  Highlands  as 
well,  correcting  the  place-names  with  the  aid  of 
local  gamekeepers,  and  sent  Mr.  Murray  the  results 
on  July  7,  to  assist  him  in  a  new  edition  of  his 
"  Handbook." 

A  letter  from  him  cordially  congratulated  her  on 
the  success  of  her  book ;  the  large  edition  was  nearly 
exhausted,  and  favourable  reviews  were  still  arriving. 
They  went  to  Oban  and  Tobermory  about  July  8, 
and  a  few  weeks  later  Miss  Bird  left  her  sister  to 
pay  visits  in  the  south,  her  first  stage  being  Knoyle 
Rectory,  near  Salisbury,  from  which  address  she 
wrote  to  Mrs.  Willoughby,  giving  her  some  account 
of  the  Town  Council's  delays : 

I  wrote  to  the  Edinburgh  Town  Clerk  proposing 
to  meet  the  City  Committee  on  Saturday,  September  4, 
on  my  way  through  Edinburgh,  and  he  replied  that 
he  feared  it  was  impossible  to  collect  a  quorum  at 
this  season,  and  that  it  would  be  best  to  postpone 
the  conference  till  November.  In  one  respect  I  was 
not  sorry,  because,  as  the  money  is  of  your  raising, 
I  should  not  have  liked  to  hand  over  the  "  Rest " 


without  your  sanction ;  but  in  another  I  am  much 
vexed,  because  the  "  Rest "  ought  to  have  been  ready 
by  November,  and,  even  if  everything  goes  as  it  ought, 
these  vexatious  delays  will  postpone  its  erection  till 
January.  In  the  meantime  1  shall  see  some  of  the 
Bristol  and  London  Rests. 

Mrs.  Willoughby  was  at  Franzensbad  at  the  time, 
and  when  she  returned  to  Yorkshire  was  in  frequent 
correspondence  with  Miss  Bird  about  the  "Rest"  and 
about  the  proofs  of  Miss  Gordon  Cumming's  book, 
which  Isabella  was  still  correcting  and  revising,  as 
their  author  was  in  the  Fijian  Isles  during  the  pro- 
cesses of  publication.  She  carried  the  proofs  with 
her  to  London  and  Tunbridge  Wells,  and  back  again 
to  London,  till  the  beginning  of  November,  when 
they  were  transferred  to  Major  Grant  Stephen  for 
the  latest  Indian  orthography. 

Her  independent  headquarters  in  town  were  at 
16  Oakley  Square,  near  her  North  London  relatives 
and  friends;  from  which  point  she  made  excursions 
on  foot  and  by  train  eastwards  and  westwards, 
chiefly  to  scientific  haunts  amongst  microscopes, 
which  "  filled  her  brain,"  spending  hours  daily  in 
this  pursuit.  Twelve  visits  in  all  were  accomplished 
before  she  returned  to  Edinburgh  in  November,  and 
it  is  not  surprising  that  she  was  at  once  invalided 
and  condemned  to  bed  and  seclusion  till  New  Year's 
Day.  Reviews  of  her  book  were  continuous  till  the 
end  of  1875,  and  her  rank  amongst  the  foremost 
writers  of  travel  and  adventure  was  conclusively 
established.  It  was  to  the  point,  too,  considering 
the  cheap  incredulity  of  some  of  her  more  ignorant 
reviewers,  that  a  number  of  letters  came  from  Hono- 
lulu and  other  parts  of  Hawaii-nei,  testifying  most 
emphatically  to  the  Accuracy  of  her  book,  and 

90  IN   JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

endorsing   both   her  facts   and   her  inductions.     Her 
gratification  is  expressed  in  a  letter  to  Mr.  Murray : 

I  assure  you  I  am  beginning  to  think  it  rather  a 
nice  book!  Seriously,  there  has  been  nothing  but 
what  is  pleasant  connected  with  it;  and  as  it  has  been 
so  very  pleasant  to  me,  I  am  glad  that  you  are  in  a 
measure  satisfied  with  its  sale. 

Her  suffering  from  pleurodynia  lasted  most  of 
January,  1876,  but  she  was  able  to  write  and  study 
soon  after  New  Year's  Day. 

The  "  Cabmen's  Shelter,"  as  it  was  finally  called, 
was  in  process  of  building  in  Princes  Street,  near 
Sir  Walter  Scott's  monument,  and  it  was  opened  on 
the  3ist,  welcomed  cordially  by  the  Edinburgh  press, 
and  enthusiastically  by  the  cabmen.  But  Miss  Bird 
had  to  battle  once  more  for  her  scheme,  as  the 
incredible  Town  Council  wished  to  hand  over  the 
building  to  the  men  themselves,  without  an  attendant 
to  clean,  cook  meals,  and  keep  it  in  order.  She  was 
forced  to  insist  upon  their  keeping  to  the  contract, 
which  she  had  drawn  up  and  to  which  they  had 
agreed.  In  this  conflict  of  wills  hers  triumphed,  and 
she  could  write  to  Mrs.  Willoughby  on  March  5th  : 

The  Shelter  and  Coffee-room  has  now  been  opened 
for  a  month,  and  the  cabmen  seem  as  much  at  home 
in  its  use  as  if  they  had  had  it  for  ten  years.  About 
thirty-five  take  their  meals  there,  and  it  does  look  so 
cheerful.  So  far,  it  has  worked  more  smoothly  than 
I  expected.  ...  I  wish  much  that  the  £17  which 
remains  in  the  bank  after  paying  for  everything  should 
go  towards  another  shelter,  and  I  doubt  not  you  will 
wish  the  same. 

And  she  added  a  graphic  account  of  her  victory  : 

I  had  been  asked  at  the  Town  Council  whether  I  was 
empowered  to  act  for  you,  and  replied  that  I  was  ;  but 
when  I  got  the  Town  Clerk's  letter,  I  wrote  that 
I  declined  to  act  further  and  should  refer  to  you. 

i876]  THE  TOWN   COUNCIL  91 

On  hearing  from  you,  I  wrote  a  very  strong  letter  to 
the  Council,  enclosing  yours,  and  saying  that  if  the 
magistrates  now  turned  round  against  our  plan  of 
refreshments  we  should  withdraw  the  Shelter  and 
place  it  in  Glasgow.  The  following  morning,  at  the 
meeting  of  magistrates,  our  ultimatum  was  read,  and 
the  wretches  were  in  such  hot  haste  to  undo  their 
work  that  they  did  not  even  take  time  to  send  a 
written  intimation,  but  sent  down  the  same  city 
official  who  had  bullied  me  the  week  before  to  say 
that  they  had  unanimously  conceded  all  we  asked. 
He  was  oily  in  his  manners  and  profuse  in  his 
explanations,  but  I  drew  myself  up  to  my  full  height 
of  4  ft.  nj  in.  and  told  him  politely  that  after  the 
difficulties  which  had  occurred  it  would  be  essential 
to  have  an  official  intimation  in  writing  of  the  decision 
of  the  magistrates.  This  came  in  an  hour. 

Gog  and  Magog  quailed  before  scarce  five  feet  of 
superb  will.  She  was  most  anxious  that  all  the  credit 
of  this  Cabmen's  Shelter  should  rest  with  Mrs. 
Willoughby,  and  even  wrote  to  The  Scotsman  to  explain 
for  whom  she  was  acting  ;  but  Lady  Middleton 
earnestly  disclaims  any  share  except  that  of  finding 
funds.  By  the  middle  of  March  they  were  both 
delighted  to  get  a  financial  report  of  its  five  weeks' 
trial,  which  proved  that  it  was  self-supporting,  a  fact 
endorsing  the  cabmen's  appreciation.  Miss  Bird  was 
a  capital  woman  of  business,  and  all  her  philanthropic 
work  was  based  on  minute  calculations  of  its  likelihood 
to  secure,  from  those  benefited,  an  honourable  and  self- 
respecting  contribution  towards  its  maintenance — 
surely  the  most  vital  form  of  philanthropy,  since  it 
breeds  no  race  of  torpid,  expectant,  mendicants.  What 
modern  charity  lacks  is  intelligent  financing;  a  lack 
which,  happily,  men  are  beginning  to  realise. 

She  cherished  a  fanciful  mood  at  this  time — wishing 
to  give  up  literature  for  study,  which  meant  micro- 
scopes. It  seemed  to  her  almost  wrong  to  continue 

92  IN  JOURNEYINGS   OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

a  pursuit  which  delighted  her  in  the  doing  and 
brought  her  praise  and  profit  when  done.  Fortunately 
editors  and  publishers  intervened.  Early  in  April  she 
was  engaged  in  revising  and  correcting  Six  Months 
in  the  Sandwich  Islands  for  Mr.  Murray,  who  proposed 
to  publish  a  cheaper  edition,  slightly  abridged,  and 
with  its  statistics  brought  up  to  date.  She  had,  too, 
an  accumulation  of  commissions  for  different  magazines, 
and  was  anxious  to  redeem  her  engagements  to  their 
editors,  delayed  by  her  illness. 

Henrietta  came  out  third  in  Professor  Blackie's 
examination  of  his  Greek  class  for  ladies,  and  was 
worn  out  by  her  exertions.  In  April  she  went  to 
Tobermory  for  three  weeks,  while  Isabella  stayed 
on,  writing  busily.  She  was  in  Edinburgh  all  June, 
although  her  toils  were  relaxed ;  and  various  social 
doings  are  reported  in  her  letters. 

I  only  once  dined  at  home  the  whole  month  of  June. 
I  went  one  Quaker  picnic  to  the  top  of  the  Pentlands 
and  another  to  Winton,  descending  at  n  at  night, 
and  also  went  up  the  highest  Pentland  on  horseback ! 
I  was  for  four  days  at  Dreghorn  and  three  with  the 
Miss  Mackenzies  at  Eastland  Hill,  near  Inverkeithing. 
I  saw  dear  Mrs.  Nichol  several  times.  I  had  some 
very  pleasant  microscopy  with  Dr.  McKendrick,  and 
also  with  Dr.  Bishop,  whose  noble  character  compels 
one's  increasing  and  respectful  admiration. 

It  was  not  till  July  11  that  she  went  south, 
beginning  a  round  of  visits  at  Settrington  House, 
near  York,  where  she  stayed  a  week  with  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Willoughby.  Here  she  was  very  happy.  Her 
hostess  loved  her  and  used  to  call  her  "  dear  little  soul." 
"  She  was  fond  of  the  name,"  writes  Lady  Middleton, 
"  but  it  was  not  apt,  for  it  was  her  body  that  was 
Uttle  arid  her  soul  big ! " 

i876]  IONA  93 

While  at  Settrington,  Miss  Bird  wrote  to  Mrs. 
Blackie  : 

You  have  seen  my  hostess,  and  when  I  tell 
you  that  her  soul  is  as  noble  and  rich  as  her 
appearance  and  manner  are  bewitching,  you  can 
imagine  how  very  pleasant  it  is.  Her  husband  is  a 
true,  honourable  English  gentleman.  There  are  no 
other  guests  but  Lord  Middleton  and  a  gallant  fox- 
hunting old  parson  like  one  of  Richardson's.  Isaac 
Taylor  is  the  rector. 

A  few  short  visits  were  paid,  and  then  she  went 
north  to  redeem  a  promise  to  her  sister,  that  they 
should  spend  a  month  in  lona  together.  Tobermory 
was  too  relaxing  for  her,  although  admirably  suited 
to  Henrietta,  and  this  was  a  compromise.  They 
were  settled  in  the  little  St.  Columba  Inn  by  the 
middle  of  August  and  stayed  till  the  end  of  Sep- 
tember, very  quiet  and  very  happy  in  each  other's 
companionship.  Isabella  reverted  to  her  arrears  of 
articles,  one  of  which  was  a  paper  on  "  The  Two 
Atlantics "  for  The  Leisure  Hour.  They  had  the 
drawing-room  almost  to  themselves,  as  few  of  the 
visitors  were  ladies,  and  the  artists  and  literary  men 
such  as  Mr.  Lorimer  and  Principal  Tulloch,  were 
there  to  explore  the  island,  making  use  of  the  inn 
for  meals  and  sleep.  But  the  hostess  of  the 
St.  Columba,  one  of  three  sisters  whose  father 
was  captain  of  a  small  trading-vessel,  was  always 
ready  to  accompany  Miss  Bird  upon  her  daily  faring- 
forth,  whether  in  storm  or  sunshine.  They  climbed 
Dun-Ee  together,  skirted  the  coast,  lingered  on  the 
historic  knolls  and  recited  against  each  other,  and 
against  the  wind,  pages  upon  pages  of  Shakespeare, 
Milton,  and  Browning ! 

Two  ladies  arrived  in  early  September,  set  down 
by  the  steamer  to  be  picked  up  again  a  few  days 

94  IN   JOURNEYINGS   OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

later.  They  had  heard  much  of  Miss  Bird,  but  did 
not  venture  to  disturb  her  seclusion  until  the  morning 
of  the  day  on  which  they  were  to  leave.  Then  they 
called  on  her,  fortified  by  their  acquaintance  with 
her  aunt,  the  Hon.  Mrs.  Stewart,  and  had  "a  few 
hours  of  delightful  intercourse  with  the  sisters,  and 
we  repented  our  modesty,  for  Miss  Bird  would 
have  been  a  perfect  guide  over  the  island,  which 
she  loved."  Thus  began  her  acquaintance  with 
Miss  Pipe,  a  woman  whom  to  know  was  a  liberal 
education,  not  only  intellectually,  but  on  account  of 
the  exquisite  art  of  living  to  the  glory  of  God  in 
all  things,  in  beauty  of  life,  in  temperance,  truth, 
loyalty  and  peace  of  mind  and  manners.  Miss  Bird 
understood  her  at  once,  and  the  acquaintance  ripened 
into  friendship.  With  her,  friendship  included  its 
endurance  to  the  end.  Acquaintances,  made  in  the 
contact  of  daily  circumstance,  were  not  accounted 
friends,  although  some  of  these  attained  to  the  higher 
rank,  and  having  attained  were  entitled  to  all  its 
privileges.  Loyalty  was  innate  in  her,  and  no  mis- 
giving ever  checked  its  flow,  not  even  the  deteriora- 
tion of  a  friend ;  for  in  several  instances,  when  the 
character  of  a  friend  became  deteriorated  by  evil, 
Isabella's  affection  showed  itself  in  self-sacrifice  for 
her  good. 

It  is  probable  that  she  spent  a  few  days  at 
Altnacraig  this  summer,  taking  the  steamer  to  and 
fro  from  lona. 

Their  winter  quarters  in  Edinburgh  were  again 
at  7  Atholl  Crescent.  Apparently  Miss  Bird  began 
the  season's  work  by  developing  her  scanty  notes 
of  the  two  months  spent  in  Australia  in  1872,  for  an 
article  appeared  later  in  The  Leisure  Hour  entitled 
"Australia  Felix." 


But  there  is  little  record  of  the  weeks  which  closed 
1876.  The  next  year  found  her  taking  an  energetic 
interest  in  the  proposed  Bazaar  for  the  erection  of  a 
"  National  Livingstone  Memorial,"  in  the  form  of  a 
non-sectarian  college  for  the  training  of  medical 
missionaries  and  of  lady  nurses  for  Africa  and  India. 
Her  friends  Miss  Cullen  and  Dr.  Bishop  engaged 
her  help  and  enthusiasm  in  this  undertaking,  and 
she  secured  the  names  of  many  influential  men  and 
women  as  patrons  and  patronesses  of  the  Bazaar, 
amongst  them  being  Lord  and  Lady  Teignmouth, 
Mrs.  Willoughby,  Sir  John  and  Lady  Emma  McNeill, 
Sir  William  and  Lady  Muir,  Sir  Noe'l  and  Lady  Paton, 
Bishop  Perry,  and  Mrs.  Horace  Waller,  the  wife  of 
Livingstone's  friend.  She  took  no  interest  in  bazaars 
as  a  rule,  but  the  object  of  this  was  so  entirely  in 
accordance  with  her  own  mind,  on  what  was  essential 
to  the  equipment  of  missionaries,  that  she  became 
a  member  of  its  committee,  and  threw  herself  heart 
and  soul  into  the  preparations.  For  this  memorial 
was  to  be  no  barren  monument,  but  a  living  and 
life-giving  source  of  help  to  the  helpless. 

Livingstone  had  been  commemorated  by  Mrs.  D.  O. 
Hill's  vigorous  and  lifelike  statue  in  bronze,  which 
stands  in  Princes  Street  Gardens,  Edinburgh's 
Valhalla;  but  this  College  was  to  keep  fresh  and 
full  that  twofold  outpouring  of  healing  for  soul  and 
body,  of  which  Livingstone  was  the  pioneer  in  troubled 
Africa.  This  combination  of  physical  with  spiritual 
healing  he  had  warmly  advocated  as  the  very  method 
of  Christ  Himself. 

The  Directors  of  the  Edinburgh  Medical  Missionary 
Society  had  already  collected  £6,000,  and  the  building 
was  begun  in  the  Cowgate,  but  it  was  estimated 
that  £4,000  were  still  required  to  complete  it.  An 

96  IN  JOURNEYINGS  OFT          [CHAP,  iv 

influential  Edinburgh  Committee  was  formed,  con- 
sisting of  eighteen  ladies,  who  organised  branches 
in  all  parts  of  Scotland,  and  in  London,  Manchester, 
and  Liverpool,  for  the  collecting  and  forwarding  of 
work,  while  Dr.  Lowe  and  the  other  directors  under- 
took to  receive  donations  in  money. 

The  veteran  African  missionary,  Dr.  Robert  Moffat, 
wrote  : 

I  have  no  language  to  express  my  admiration  of 
your  undertaking.  To  what  purpose  do  all  the 
sculptured  heroes  of  bygone  ages  serve,  except  to 
remind  us  that  such  once  lived,  and  some  of  them  to 
some  purpose,  but  beyond  that  they  are  silent  as  the 
grave.  The  "  Livingstone  Medical  Missionary  Me- 
morial" will  be  a  living  one,  diffusing  influence  and 
scattering  blessings,  not  to  Africa  only,  but  to  every 
quarter  of  the  globe,  where  suffering  humanity  is  crying 
lor  the  sympathy  of  human  aid. 

The  powerful  patronage  of  H.R.H.  the  Princess 
Louise  was  secured,  as  well  as  that  of  forty-three 
Scottish  notables,  beginning  with  the  Duke  and 
Duchess  of  Argyll. 

At  committee  work  and  bazaar  correspondence 
Miss  Bird  laboured  indefatigably  all  spring.  Miss 
Cullen  was  one  of  the  secretaries  and  they  were 
in  constant  touch.  Dr.  Bishop,  who  was  now  a 
devoted  friend  of  both  sisters,  was  giving  every 
spare  moment  to  aid  their  preparations  and  plans. 
Henrietta  was  suffering  from  a  severe  chill,  and  as 
Dr.  Moir  had  retired  from  practice,  Dr.  Bishop  was 
her  medical  attendant,  and  his  visits  to  7  Atholl 
Crescent  were  frequent  on  both  counts.  Besides, 
he  was  an  ardent  microscopist,  and  Miss  Bird  and 
he  were  busy  with  the  marvels  of  Atlantic  oaze. 

Her  literary  work  was  set  aside  for  this  absorbing 
study.  Apparently  even  then  it  was  Dr,  Bishop's 

i877]  DR.   BISHOP  97 

earnest  wish  that  she  should  marry  him,  but,  in 
spite  of  deep  admiration  for  his  character,  she  was 
unable  to  grant  his  petition.  In  truth,  she  was  so 
deeply  attached  to  her  sister,  whom  she  called  "  all 
my  world"  and  "my  pet,  to  be  with  whom  is  my 
joy,"  that  she  shrank  from  admitting  and  returning 
another  affection.  In  summer  Henrietta  went  to 
Tobermory  and  Miss  Bird  to  Braemar,  where  she 
spent  some  weeks,  followed  up  by  a  short  sequence 
of  visits,  before  returning  to  Edinburgh  for  a  few 
days.  During  these  days  of  late  August,  Dr.  Bishop 
renewed  his  suit,  but  she  persuaded  him  to  let  their 
friendship  abide  undisturbed  by  considerations  which 
she  was  unwilling  to  face,  and  "  he  behaved  beauti- 
fully, so  that  our  intercourse  will  be  quite  free  from 
She  was  at  The  Cottage  in  Mull  early  in  September. 

I  am  enjoying  it  very  much  [she  wrote  to  Mrs. 
Blackie],  though  it  is  disagreeing  with  me  as  usual. 
Hennie  is  so  happy  and  delightful  in  her  own  house. 
I  cannot  say  how  much  I  admire  her.  Her  house 
is  so  warm  and  comfortable,  and  she  manages  so 
nicely.  Dr.  Bishop  is  here  "  healing  the  sick." 

Henrietta  urged  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie  to  pay 
them  a  visit,  which  took  place  successfully  towards 
the  end  of  September  and  so  charmed  the  Professor 
that  it  inspired  him  to  write  his  beautiful  "  Lay  of 
the  Little  Lady,"  in  which  he  portrayed  his  hostess 
with  delicate,  admiring  touches. 

Where  a  widow  weeps, 

She  with  her  is  weeping  ; 
Where  a  sorrow  sleeps, 

She  doth  watch  it  sleeping  ; 
Where  the  sky  is  bright, 

With  one  sole  taint  of  sadness, 
Let  her  come  in  sight 

And  all  is  turned  to  gladness. 


In  October  Miss  Bird  went  to  Altnacraig,  after 
its  summer  visitors  had  taken  leave,  for  she  preferred 
to  be  with  her  friends  when  they  were  freed  from 
hospitable  cares,  and  she  could  have  true  converse 
with  them.  Both  she  and  Mrs.  Blackie  were  moved 
and  even  agitated  by  the  flowing  tide  of  materialism, 
infidelity,  and  its  effect  on  the  moral  character  of 
those  whom  it  submerged.  They  conversed  with 
that  apprehensive  sense  of  insecurity  which  beset 
even  the  faithful  few  in  those  days,  half-stupefied, 
as  if  their  creed  must  be  false  because  there  were  a 
few  verbal  mistakes  in  much-translated  and  copied 
versions  of  God's  Word,  and  half-abashed  as  if  the 
loud-voiced  materialists  knew  all  things  because 
they  had  discovered  another  of  God's  laws  and  a 
few  new  groups  of  facts  all  really  redounding  to  His 
praise.  But  the  wavering  did  not  last  long  in  Miss 
Bird's  mind,  and  she  soon  recovered  the  assurance  of 
faith  in  which  she  had  lived  from  her  earliest  days. 

Winter  and  the  great  Bazaar  recalled  her  to 
7  Atholl  Crescent.  Another  occupation  claimed  her 
evenings  and  mornings.  The  editor  of  The  Leisure 
Hour  asked  her  for  a  series  of  papers  on  her  travels 
in  the  Rocky  Mountains,  so  she  was  engaged  in 
the  now  familiar  task  of  revising  her  letters  this 
time  of  the  autumn  of  1873. 

Again  Dr.  Grainger  Stewart  advised  travel,  and 
her  thoughts  went  far  afield — to  the  Andes  and  to 
Japan.  She  asked  Mr.  Darwin  for  advice  as  to  the 
highlands  of  the  Andes,  where  she  hoped  to  ride, 
using  the  Mexican  saddle,  which  had  been  indis- 
pensable to  her  comfort  in  the  Rockies.  But  he 
was  not  encouraging,  and  the  untravelled  parts  of 
Japan  began  to  win  on  her  consideration.  Miss 
Gordon  Gumming  was  there  at  this  time. 

i877]  THE  BAZAAR  99 

The  Bazaar  was  fixed  for  December  13,  14,  and  15, 
and  she  engaged  to  assist  Lady  Paton  in  taking 
charge  of  a  table  for  pictures,  for  which  Sir  Noel 
had  already  painted  one.  On  December  18  she 
wrote  to  Mrs.  Willoughby : 

The  Bazaar  was  a  most  splendid  success,  and  the 
very  pleasantest  thing  of  the  kind  I  was  ever  at. 
Hennie  edited  a  Bazaar  Gazette,  which  was  printed 
and  sold  in  the  Hall  at  three  o'clock  daily,  and  took 
immensely.  I  wrote  a  Bazaar  Guide,  of  which  two 
thousand  copies  were  sold.  Lady  Paton  and  I  took 
£630— not  bad,  as  raffling  was  prohibited.  Our  most 
expensive  things  sold  best.  I  hope  to  answer  your 
very  delightful  letter  shortly.  In  the  meantime,  I  will 
only  say  that  it  did  me  good. 

But  alas  for  her  bereaved  friends !  her  next  letter, 
only  three  days  later,  was  to  sympathise  with  them 
on  the  death  of  Lord  Middleton,  Mr.  Willoughby's 
father  : 

Truly  death  is  a  terrible  thing.  Fearlessly  as  we 
commit  the  spirits  of  those  we  love  into  the  keeping 
not  only  of  a  merciful  Creator,  but  of  a  loving  Father, 
mystery  hangs  around  their  future,  and  faith  has  to 
ignore  speculation  as  to  their  condition  and  look 
hopefully  forward  to  the  coming  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  and  our  gathering  together  unto  Him — when 
we  shall  be  satisfied  not  only  in  ourselves,  but  in  each 
other,  and  lose  at  once  and  "for  ever"  that  bitter  ache 
of  loneliness,  which  is  sometimes  almost  maddening. 


THE     WIDE     EAST 

JAPAN  was  in  Miss  Bird's  mind  all  winter,  and  by 
February,  1878,  she  was  preparing  for  her  voyage  and 
exploration.  From  the  first  she  planned  to  make  a 
tour  in  the  interior  rather  than  to  prolong  her 
residence  in  the  capital  and  other  cities.  She  wished 
to  come  in  contact  with  as  much  of  ancient  Japan  as 
possible.  The  old  order  was  changing,  the  Shogunate 
had  disappeared,  the  very  name  of  the  capital — Yedo— 
was  altered  to  Tokio,  although  the  old  customs  died 
hard,  and  there  was  still  an  old-world,  in  spite  of 
its  continuous  transformation  under  the  breath  of 
the  Western  spirit.  It  was  indeed  the  very  hour  of  its 
transition,  and  Miss  Bird  was  to  witness  the  process 
of  a  metamorphosis  unequalled  in  thoroughness  since 
Roman  days  and  swifter  far  than  any  national  change 
chronicled  by  historians. 

Lady  Middleton,  who  secured  for  Miss  Bird  a 
valuable  introduction  to  Sir  Harry  and  Lady 
Parkes  from  the  Duke  of  Argyll,  had  asked  her 
to  choose  and  purchase  curios,  embroideries  and 
bronzes.  She  was  equipped  altogether  with  forty 
letters  to  influential  residents.  The  parting  with  her 
sister  was  unspeakably  sad.  Henrietta  was  not  well, 
and  Dr.  Bishop  was  again  in  attendance. 

He  has  treated  her  admirably  [Miss  Bird  wrote 
to  Mrs.  Blackie],  and  I  am  so  glad  that,  if  need  arise, 


1878]  TO  JAPAN  101 

she  is  now  able  to  have  a  doctor  who  has  learned 
something  of  her  very  sensitive  constitution.  It  is 
terrible  to  me  to  part  from  her.  I  hope  I  shall  get 
such  health  as  that  I  may  never  be  long  separated 
from  her  again.  These  are  very  solemn  and  pathetic 
hours ;  "  the  last  time  "  is  written  on  everything. 

This  foreboding  was  half  prophetic  and  originated 
no  doubt  in  the  shock  she  received  from  the  illness 
and  death  of  her  father,  immediately  after  her  second 
return  from  America. 

My  friends  [she  continued]  are  dearer  to  me,  and 
people  I  care  little  about  become  more  interesting, 
and  even  the  dull  grey  streets  smile  in  the  sunshine. 

Dr.  Macgregor  prayed  aloud  for  her  safety  in 
St.  Cuthbert's  Church  on  her  last  Sunday  at  home. 
Then  she  and  Henrietta  gave  three  large  afternoon 
parties,  to  save  her  from  a  trying  round  of  farewell 
calls,  and  when  all  was  arranged  and  ended  she  left 
for  Japan.  It  was  April  when  she  started,  and 
already  for  some  months  her  letters  from  the  Rocky 
Mountains  had  been  appearing  in  The  Leisure  Hour, 
where  they  attracted  so  much  interest,  that  a  demand 
for  their  separate  publication  made  itself  heard,  even 
before  her  departure.  But  she  deferred  its  con- 
sideration until  her  return. 

She  had  a  particularly  good  passage  to  New  York, 
and  found  on  board  a  pleasant  companion  in  her 
friend  Mr.  Robertson.  At  Chicago  she  spent  a  day 
with  Sandwich  Island  friends,  and  then  travelled  to 
Salt  Lake  City,  where  some  of  her  introductions 
enabled  her  to  see  a  little  of  Mormon  domestic  life, 
before  she  resumed  her  long  and  weary  railroad 
journey  to  San  Francisco.  Thence  she  sailed  to 
Shanghai,  which  she  reached  in  May,  going  on  to 
Yokohama  in  the  s.s.  City  of  Tokio.  At  Yokohama 

102  THE  WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

she  put  up  at  the  Oriental  Hotel,  paid  business  visits 
to  Mr.  Wilkinson,  the  Consul,  and  to  Mr.  Fraser,  who 
changed  her  British  gold  into  Japanese  paper  money 
and  rouleaux  of  copper  coins.  She  left  her  letters 
and  cards  at  the  Legation,  and  Sir  Harry  and  Lady 
Parkes  came  to  see  her  the  next  day,  in  jinrikishas, 
and  showed  the  liveliest  interest  in  her  intended 
enterprise,  encouraging  her  with  offers  of  every 
possible  assistance. 

Two  days  later  she  took  the  train  to  Tokio  and 
stayed  at  the  British  Legation,  where  she  met  for  the 
first  time  Mr.  (now  Sir  Ernest)  Satow,  Secretary  to 
the  Legation,  the  best-informed  man  in  Japan,  whose 
friendship  she  secured  and  who  put  at  her  disposal  all 
his  stores  of  knowledge  of  the  country  and  its  history. 
This  was  indeed  an  acquisition,  for  she  had  learned 
how  needful  it  is  for  a  traveller  to  have  her  record 
endorsed  by  authority,  since  the  quidnunc  stay-at- 
home  is  unwilling  to  believe  what  he  is  unqualified 
either  to  prove  or  disprove.  What  she  needed  most 
for  her  adventurous  journey  were  a  servant  and  a 
pony,  and  they  were  hard  to  find. 

At  last  a  servant  was  secured— the  "Ito"  well  known 
to  readers  of  Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan — and  about  the 
middle  of  June,  after  a  visit  to  Nikko,  she  started 
for  the  interior  without  a  pony,  in  one  of  the  three 
jinrikishas,  which  she  had  hired  with  their  runners  for 
the  first  stage  of  ninety  miles,  at  a  charge  of  eleven 
shillings  each  for  three  days !  But  her  book  narrates 
every  step  of  that  deeply  interesting  journey,  and  we 
must  note  its  interludes  rather  than  its  stages. 

Her  tour  was  prolonged  throughout  July,  August, 
and  part  of  September.  By  August  10,  she  reached 
Hakodate,  the  port  of  Yezo,  the  northern  island  of 
the  Japanese  empire.  She  had  come  from  Aomari  in 

i878]  AMONG  THE  AfNOS  103 

an  old  steamer  which  took  fourteen  hours  to  cross 
the  sixty  miles  of  choppy  sea,  with  gusts  of  rain 
and  spindrift,  reminding  her  of  the  Highlands.  She 
reached  the  Church  Mission  House  soaked  and 
coated  with  mud,  her  luggage  sodden  with  salt 
water — an  unprepossessing  visitor,  but  warmly  wel- 
comed by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dening,  and  triumphing  in 
her  conquest  of  all  obstacles. 

How  musical  the  clamour  of  the  Northern  Ocean  is ! 
[she  wrote  to  Henrietta] — how  inspiriting  the  shrieking 
and  howling  of  the  boisterous  wind  !  Even  the  fierce 
pelting  of  the  rain  is  home-like,  and  the  cold  in  which 
one  shivers  is  stimulating !  You  cannot  imagine  the 
delight  of  being  in  a  room  with  a  door  that  will  lock, 
of  being  in  a  bed  instead  of  on  a  stretcher,  of  finding 
twenty-three  letters  containing  good  news,  and  of 
being  able  to  read  them  in  warmth  and  quietness 
under  the  roof  of  an  English  home ! 

On  the  1 2th  she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Blackie : 

All  difficulties  suggested  as  to  my  getting  into  the 
interior  turned  out  myths;  the  Government  has  afforded 
me  every  facility,  and  I  have  just  successfully  accom- 
plished a  tour  of  seven  hundred  miles,  through  the 
heart  of  the  interior  without  molestation,  although  on 
much  of  my  route  no  European  has  ever  been  seen. 
After  being  for  two  months  exclusively  among  Asiatics, 
I  find  the  society  of  English  people  fatiguing ;  my  soul 
hankers  for  solitude  and  freedom.  So  in  two  days 
I  go  off  into  the  interior  of  Yezo,  to  live  among  its 
aborigines,  the  "  hairy  Ainos,"  till  the  summer  heat 
be  over.  As  regards  health,  my  journey  has  been 
a  great  disappointment.  I  am  much  worse  than 
when  I  left  home.  But  I  am  accumulating  much 
interest  for  the  future.  Japan  involves  severe  brain 
work  ;  I  give  myself  entirely  up  to  studying  it. 

Miss  Bird's  residence  amongst  the  Ainos  was 
fruitful  in  interesting  episodes  and  discoveries, 
although  its  brevity  and  hardships  made  her  con- 
tinuous investigations  both  painful  and  exhausting. 

io4  THE  WIDE  EAST  [CHAP,  v 

She  was  for  four  days  the  guest  of  Benri,  the  Aino 
chief.  At  first  her  host  was  absent,  but  his  nephew 
Shinondi  received  and  made  her  welcome,  and  the 
sordid  details  of  her  visit  were  redeemed  by  the 
pathetic  interest  roused  in  her  mind,  by  these 
oppressed  but  in  many  ways  attractive  people.  Her 
self-control,  her  gentleness,  kindness,  and  that 
quality  of  sheathed  power  which  characterised  her, 
made  her  supreme  amongst  them.  The  men,  old 
and  young,  were  eager  to  serve  her,  to  explain  and 
relate  what  she  wished  to  know,  always  humbly 
protesting 'their  ignorance,  since  Benri,  the  absent 
chief,  knew  best.  The  women  were  busy  about  her, 
cooking  their  best  and  full  of  courtesy.  Only  the 
chiefs  mother  looked  on  her  with  sinister  eyes, 
suspecting  evil  to  the  tribe  from  the  stranger's 
presence.  The  old  men  pressed  into  the  hut  to  do 
her  honour.  Indeed  Benri's  spacious  hut  seemed 
to  be  used  as  the  Aino  Club.  At  night  when  she 
climbed  into  her  bunk  in  the  wall,  the  fire  was  piled 
up  with  logs,  and  one  after  another  the  old  men 
dropped  in  to  gather  round  it  and  talk  in  low  soft 
voices,  a  score  of  them  at  a  time. 

I  never  saw  such  a  strangely  picturesque  sight 
as  that  group  of  magnificent  savages  with  the  fitful 
firelight  on  their  faces,  and  for  adjuncts  the  flare 
of  the  torch,  the  strong  lights,  the  blackness  of  the 
recesses  of  the  room  and  of  the  roof,  at  one  end 
of  which  the  stars  looked  in,  and  the  row  of  savage 
women  in  the  background ;  Eastern  savagery  and 
Western  civilisation  meet  in  this  hut,  savagery  giving 
and  civilisation  receiving,  the  yellow-skinned  Ito 
the  connecting  link  between  the  two  and  the  repre- 
sentative of  a  civilisation  to  which  our  own  is  "  but 
an  infant  of  days." 

One  night  even  her  fortitude  was  shaken.  She 
was  in  her  bunk  watching  the  wild  scene,  when  a 

i878]  AT  THE   LEGATION  105 

quarrel  seemed  to  break  out  between  two  of  the 
younger  Ainos  ;  their  voices  grew  loud,  their  gestures 
excited  and  fierce,  the  arm  of  one  of  them  was  con- 
stantly extended  towards  her,  and  she  shivered  in 
apprehension,  never  doubting  that  they  planned  her 
murder.  But  the  voices  grew  hushed,  one  by  one 
the  men  passed  silently  out  of  the  hut,  and  all  was 
still,  save  for  the  women  who  sewed  by  the  light  of  a 
rude  lamp  till  midnight,  when  they  crept  into  their 
beds  hidden  by  hanging  mats  from  the  large  interior. 
Ito  was  curled  up  on  the  floor,  and  in  the  morning 
she  asked  him  what  had  happened.  "  It  was  nothing," 
he  said  :  "  one  of  the  men  was  hot  and  wished  to 
take  off  his  garment,  but  Shinondi  would  not  let 
him  do  it  before  the  stranger  woman." 

Miss  Bird  has  not  recorded  this  incident,  but 
told  it  to  me  one  day  when  we  were  looking  over 
Tobermory  Bay  from  The  Cottage. 

About  September  20  she  was  back  at  the  British 
Legation  in  Tokio,  with  Sir  Harry  and  Lady  Parkes. 
Miss  Gordon  Gumming  was  there  too,  and  is 
mentioned  in  a  note  to  Lady  Middleton  dated  Septem- 
ber 30: 

I  hope  to  execute  some  of  your  commissions,  but 
good  things  have  become  immensely  dear,  owing  to 
the  incursions  of  curio  hunters  from  every  part  of 
Europe.  Miss  Gordon  Gumming  left  for  Nikko  with 
the  French  minister  this  morning.  She  is  beautifully 
dressed,  and  is  strong  and  well. 

Miss  Bird's  headquarters  were  now  at  the  British 
Legation  in  Tokio  for  nearly  two  months.  Mr.  Satow 
helped  her  to  verify  and  correct  her  notes  and  statistics, 
and  Sir  Harry  Parkes  promoted  her  short  excursions 
in  every  possible  way.  He  secured  permission  to 
visit  one  of  the  cremation  stations,  to  which  the 

1 06  THE   WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

governor  of  Tokio,  Mr.  Kusamoto,  sent  her  in  his 
own  carriage,  accompanied  by  a  Government  inter- 
preter, and  supplied  her  the  next  day  with  a  trans- 
lated account  of  cremation  and  its  introduction  into 

The  colder,  drier  weather  restored  her,  and  she 
was  fairly  well  when  she  left  that  most  lovely  and 
interesting  land,  where  she  had  spent  seven  busy 
months,  reaping  a  golden  harvest  of  knowledge  for 
her  own  country.  She  embarked  on  December  18 
on  the  s.s.  Volga  for  Hong  Kong,  and  suffered  from 
the  pitching  of  the  wretched  vessel  in  the  violent 
gales  which  beset  it  all  the  way,  cold  and  noise 
adding  to  her  misery.  On  the  last  day  the  storm, 
although  still  fierce,  was  dry,  and  she  went  on  deck 
eager  to  see  the  coast  of  the  "  mysterious  continent." 
Her  welcome  to  Hong  Kong  was  startling.  The 
city  was  on  fire  and  was  wrapped  in  columns  of 
smoke,  while  the  beating  of  drums  and  the  tolling 
of  bells  sounding  out  of  the  darkness  told  of  agitation 
and  alarm.  The  hotels  were  packed  with  refugees, 
and  she  had  to  be  carried  in  a  bamboo  chair,  through 
terror-stricken  crowds,  straight  to  Bishop  Burdon's 
house,  where  she  was  hospitably  welcomed,  although 
warned  that  if  the  wind  continued  to  blow  towards 
the  house  they  must  be  ready  to  leave  at  a  moment's 
notice.  But  at  10  p.m.  the  wind  changed  and  the 
danger  was  over.  Her  first  action  in  Hong  Kong 
was  to  go  down  to  the  burning  city  with  the  Bishop, 
and  she  describes  its  wreck  in  the  letter  written  to 
Henrietta  immediately  after  her  arrival.  But  these 
and  other  remarkable  details  are  given  in  the  chapters 
upon  Hong  Kong  and  Canton  in  her  Golden  Cher- 
sonese, published  in  1883,  and  they  may  be  omitted 
here.  She  wrote  to  Mrs.  Blackie  that  she  considered 

1879]  MALACCA  107 

Canton   "  the   most  wonderful   and   picturesque  city 
on  earth." 

Mrs.  Blackie  was  very  slowly  recovering  from  a 
fever  contracted  in  Venice,  where  she  had  been 
nursing  her  niece  in  the  hottest  part  of  the  summer, 
and  Miss  Bird's  letter  is  full  of  concern  about  her 
long-continued  delicacy.  Dr.  Bishop  attended  her, 
as  Dr.  John  Brown  was  not  in  Edinburgh,  and  this 
elicited  some  interesting  comments  : 

From  what  I  have  seen  and  heard,  I  have  the 
highest  opinion  of  his  medical  intuitions,  conscien- 
tiousness, and  resources,  and  he  never  speaks  of 
the  illnesses  of  his  patients !  I  am  so  glad  for 
himself,  too,  to  know  you.  He  is  so  pure  and  good 
that  he  will  appreciate  and  love  you.  His  treatment 
of  Hennie  was  a  great  comfort  to  me.  I  don't  think 
that  any  doctor  before  has  understood  her  peculiarities 
of  constitution. 

When  she  left  China  it  was  with  the  intention 
of  visiting  Ceylon,  inspired  by  the  recollection  of 
Miss  Gordon  Cumming's  beautiful  sketches;  but  at 
Singapore,  Mr.  Cecil  Smith,  Secretary  to  Sir 
William  Robinson,  the  Governor,  suggested  to  her 
that  a  Chinese  steamer  was  to  sail  for  Malacca 
on  January  19,  and  that  if  she  cared  to  explore 
the  Malay  States  everything  would  be  done  to 
further  and  facilitate  the  expedition.  In  five  minutes 
her  mind  was  made  up,  the  prospect  of  escape  from 
civilisation  into  new  and  fascinating  wilds  being 
irresistible,  so  that  we  find  her  on  board  the  little 
s.s.  Rainbow  on  Monday,  the  iQth,  committed  to  the 
care  of  a  kindly  Welsh  engineer,  who  saw  to  her 
comfort  during  the  voyage. 

The  Golden  Chersonese  vividly  reproduces  all  the 
stages  and  transits  of  this  interesting  journey,  and 
will  be  discussed  more  fully  when  we  reach  the 


date  of  its  publication.  She  spent  five  weeks 
altogether  in  the  Malay  Peninsula,  leaving  it  on 
February  25,  by  steamer,  for  Cairo.  There  she  was 
attacked  by  typhoid  fever,  not  fully  developed  until 
she  was  in  the  desert,  where  she  had  to  suffer  all 
the  agonies  of  thirst  and  the  accesses  of  fever-heat 
and  shivering  untended.  But  she  made  good  use  of 
its  intervals  and  carried  out  a  long-cherished  plan 
of  encamping  on  the  solemn  slope  of  Mount  Sinai, 
spending  four  days  in  its  solitude,  amongst  its 
awe-inspiring  associations. 

Immediately  following  the  fever,  and  resulting 
from  it,  came  depths  of  deep  depression.  The 
eastern  tour  had  proved  unprofitable  to  her  health, 
but  its  interests  were  great  gain  and  she  was  to 
obey  their  summons  again  and  again,  after  a  period 
amounting  to  nigh  a  decade  of  years,  during  which 
time  she  was  kept  at  home. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  whatever  about  the 
immense  intellectual  and  spiritual  increase  garnered 
from  these  eastern  travels.  Her  books  from  this 
time  indicate  a  loftier  aim,  and  wider  outlook,  than 
those  already  published  and  that  in  preparation. 
They  are  more  masculine  in  their  scope,  and  evince 
a  more  powerful  and  accurate  apprehension  of  each 
nationality,  as  the  complete  and  separate  expression 
of  humanity  produced  by  different  equipment,  cir- 
cumstances, and  development.  The  exuberance  of 
detail  and  reiteration,  which  dimmed  somewhat  the 
brilliance  of  her  Six  Months  in  the  Sandwich  Islands, 
falls  away ;  the  judgment  is  no  longer  in  fetters ;  the 
mind  is  more  richly  endowed,  less  censorious,  less 
stultified  with  prejudice;  the  spirit,  no  longer 
dwarfed  within  stereotyped  bounds,  grows  in  wisdom 
and  understanding. 

iS79]  AT  TOBERMORY  109 

The  heat  and  dust  of  Egypt  discouraged  a  longer 
stay  in  the  East,  and  she  was  on  her  way  home  early 
in  May.  Mr.  Loftus  of  The  Saturday  Review  was  her 
fellow  traveller  and  they  became  great  allies.  But  she 
caught  cold  sitting  up  one  bitter  night  to  nurse  an 
invalid  passenger,  and,  as  she  was  weakened  by  fever, 
this  brought  on  an  agonising  attack  of  pleurodynia, 
so  that  she  was  a  wreck  when  Miss  Clayton  met 
her  on  landing,  and  had  to  be  nursed  back  into  a 
measure  of  convalescence  before  she  could  travel  to 
Mull,  where  she  rejoined  her  sister  at  The  Cottage 
on  May  27.  She  was  then  so  weak  that  she  could 
not  walk  from  the  Clydesdale  to  the  carriage  without 
help,  and  three  weeks  passed  before  she  could  walk 
even  as  far  as  the  village  of  Tobermory. 

In  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Blackie,  written  on  June  16, 
Miss  Bird  describes  her  state  and  occupations  : 

My  body  is  very  weak,  and  I  can  only  walk  about 
three  hundred  yards  with  a  stick ;  but  my  head  is  all 
right,  and  I  am  working  five  hours  a  day  in  this 
delicious  quiet.  Hennie  has  improved  wonderfully 
since  I  came,  and  we  are  very  happy  together.  I  feel 
that  "  goodness  and  mercy  have  followed  me,"  and  the 
joy  of  my  return  to  Hennie's  unselfish  love  and  the 
precious  affection  of  many  dear  friends  is  new  every 
morning.  Nothing  but  kindness  has  been  my  lot  all 
round  the  world,  and,  except  that  my  health  grew 
worse  rather  than  better,  nothing  ever  went  wrong. 

Mr.  Murray  bespoke  Japan  at  once,  and  wished  to 
publish  it  so  soon  as  a  date  could  be  fixed  which 
would  avoid  clashing  with  Mr.  Reid's  volume  on  the 
same  subject,  then  in  course  of  preparation.  A 
Lady's  Life  in  the  Rocky  Mountains  was  on  the 
point  of  publication  in  book  form.  Its  appearance 
in  The  Leisure  Hour  had  been  most  successful,  and 
the  editor  of  The  Spectator  had  congratulated  his 

i  io  THE  WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

contemporary  on  the  privilege  of  publishing  such 
papers,  the  interest  of  which,  as  he  expressed  it, 
"  intoxicated  "  him. 

This  book  appeared  in  October,  a  second  edition 
was  called  for  in  November,  and  the  third  appeared  in 
January,  1880.  It  is  easy  to  understand  its  charm, 
in  spite  of  its  being  seven  years  old  when  it  received 
its  final  form.  Its  matter  is  of  the  kind  which  "  age 
cannot  wither  nor  custom  stale,"  for  the  human 
interest  of  the  book  is  so  strong  and  fresh  that  it 
overpowers  the  record  of  dangers  overcome  and 
nature  surprised  in  her  most  inaccessible  retreats. 
The  austere,  uncouth,  dull,  and  respectable  settlers 
in  the  Canyon  of  Colorado,  avoiding  courtesy  as  the 
breath  of  the  evil  one  ;  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Hughes  ;  Evans 
and  his  sanatorium,  and  above  all  "  Mountain  Jim,"  or 
rather  Mr.  Nugent  and  Ring,  his  dog,— form  a  group 
of  dramatis  personce  not  easily  to  be  forgotten.  And, 
alasl  their  play  ended  in  a  tragedy  as  grim  and 
fierce  as  any  planned  by  Aeschylus. 

But  at  Tobermory  she  was  engrossed  with  Japan. 
Henrietta  wrote  to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid  about  these  quiet 
weeks  together : 

I  had  time  to  get  stronger  before  she  came,  for 
which  I  was  very  thankful.  We  spend  our  days  thus  : 
She  writes  in  the  sitting-room  till  dinner  at  1.30,  and 
I  either  sit  out  in  the  wood,  or  in  my  own  room  down- 
stairs, which  I  have  fitted  up  as  a  half  drawing-room. 
After  dinner  we  go  out  for  a  stroll,  come  in  about 
3  or  3.30  and  have  a  cup  of  tea,  then  I  leave  her 
to  write  till  7,  and  I  go  down  to  do  business,  or 
make  visits  in  the  village.  After  tea  at  7,  we  go 
out  for  a  longer  stroll,  and  usually  come  in  about 
9.  Nowhere  could  she  have  such  quiet  and  freedom 
from  interruption.  Keeping  the  house  is  a  great 
burden  to  my  mind !  Dinners  seem  always  upon  it, 
for  it  is  so  difficult  to  get  variety,  and  now  and  then 

1879]  CURIOS  III 

difficult  to  get  anything.  And  I  like  to  have  every- 
thing perfect,  and  when  it  falls  short  of  this  perfection 
I  always  feel  vexed  and  disheartened.  I  have  two 
patients  at  present — the  old  pilot,  who  is  ill  with 
paralysis,  and  a  young  lad,  Hector  Macdonald,  dying 
in  consumption. 

In  a  letter  to  Lady  Middleton,  written  about  this 
time,  Miss  Bird  gives  a  tempting  catalogue  of  the 
curios  bought  in  Japan  for  her  correspondent.  There 
were  six  paintings  on  silk,  the  only  duplicates  of  some 
executed  for  the  Mikado,  an  old  picture  in  embroidery 
from  a  temple,  a  piece  of  cloth  of  gold  of  the  Shogun 
dress,  and  some  knife  handles.  For  herself  she  had 
chosen  some  exquisite  embroideries,  pictures  repre- 
senting the  Japanese  moral  law,  of  which  I  particularly 
remember  that  illustrating  the  mythical  antetype  of  all 
duty  to  parents.  A  man  in  despair  because  his  mother 
was  dying  consulted  an  oracle  for  help,  but  received 
only  the  depressing  answer :  "  When  bamboo  shoots 
pierce  through  the  snow,  thy  mother  will  recover."  The 
snow  lay  thick  upon  the  ground,  but  he  remembered 
a  corner  of  his  garden  where  they  were  wont  first  to 
appear  in  spring,  and  kneeling  there  he  wept  hot 
tears  day  and  night  until  the  snow  was  melted  and  the 
soil  penetrated  with  moisture :  then  the  bamboo,  tricked 
into  a  dream  of  spring-time  and  warm  rain,  sent  out 
its  first  young  shoots.  Then  he  rose  and  went  into 
the  house,  and  lo  !  his  mother  sat  up  and  welcomed 
him  with  a  smile.  This  was  embroidered  in  silver 
and  gold  on  a  crimson  satin  panel. 

She  bought,  besides,  an  antique  bronze,  a  daimio's 
bath,  which  served  to  hold  palms  and  plants ;  an  exact 
copy  of  a  bronze  jug  in  the  Japanese  Treasury,  which 
was  nine  centuries  old,  and  other  beautiful  bronzes  of 
a  quality  which  the  curio-hunter  of  to-day  cannot  find. 

ii2  THE  WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

Early  in  September  Miss  Bird  went  to  Applecross 
to  pay  Lord  and  Lady  Middleton  a  long  visit.  Her 
hosts  picked  her  up  at  Tobermory  on  the  way  to 
Applecross  in  their  yacht  the  Lady  Eisa,  and  Lady 
Middleton  thus  recalls  the  voyage  : 

I  was  a  bad  sailor;  but  as  she  and  I  lay  on 
opposite  sides  of  the  deck  cabin  during  a  quite  rough 
passage,  I  don't  remember  to  have  felt  the  day  long 
at  all,  so  entertaining  was  she. 

Miss  Bird  gives  an  account  of  her  visit  and  of  her 
hostess  to  Mrs.  Blackie  on  September  13,  enclosing 
an  invitation  to  the  Professor  from  Lord  Middleton. 

I  have  the  exclusive  use  of  the  boudoir,  and  can 
plod  here  nearly  as  well  as  at  home.  There  are 
twenty-three  guests  in  the  house,  including  Lord  and 
Lady  Galway  on  their  honeymoon  and  two  very 
riotous  engaged  couples.  I  like  to  see  the  dress— 
or  undress — fearfully  and  wonderfully  made.  The 
jewellery  too  is  beautiful,  but  the  bodies  are  more 
adorned  than  the  minds.  Do  you  remember  how 
attractive  you  thought  Lady  Middleton,  when  you 
met  her  in  Atholl  Crescent?  She  is  lovelier  and 
more  lovable,  and  her  accession  to  the  title  and  the 
surroundings  of  enormous  wealth  has  left  her  as  it 
found  her. 

In  this  letter  too  are  allusions  to  Dr.  Bishop,  who 
had  been  attending  both  Lady  Parkes  and  Miss  Parkes 
on  their  home-coming.  Lady  Parkes  had  written  to 
Miss  Bird  : 

Except  Sir  Harry,  he  is  the  most  unselfish  man  I 
ever  met,  and  I  can  never  repay  his  thoughtful  kind- 
ness to  us  all.  I  believe  that  his  society  will  be  of 
real  and  lasting  benefit  to  my  eldest  daughter,  stimu- 
lating her  in  the  exact  direction  in  which  I  wish  to 
see  her  developed. 

Dr.  Bishop  renewed  his  suit,  but  Miss  Bird  felt 
herself  to  be  scarcely  "  a  marrying  woman,"  and  he 

i879]  HEART-SEARCHING  113 

forbore  to  distress  her.  "  He  has  acted  nobly  and 
sweetly  to  me,  never  saying  one  word  about  his  own 

Lord  Middleton  lent  her  the  steam-yacht  for  two 
days'  cruise  and  she  spent  them  at  Loch  Torridon, 
where  she  visited  a  school  for  which  she  had  long 
collected  money.  After  three  weeks'  stay  at  Apple- 
cross,  she  returned  to  Tobermory,  and  on  the  way 
halted  at  Kyleakin  in  Skye,  sitting  under  the  ruin  of 
the  castle  till  darkness  fell,  remembering  the  happy 
days  of  youth  when  parents  and  sister  were  with  her, 
at  the  first  landing  there  in  1852,  "  Hennie  and  I  enthu- 
siastic and  blooming  lassies."  Now,  she  thanked 
God  on  the  very  spot  for  those  "  who  had  departed 
this  life  in  His  faith  and  fear,"  and  prayed  to  be 
purified  from  selfishness  and  worldliness,  as  they 

She  was  again  greatly  concerned  about  the  selfish- 
ness which  she  suspected  in  herself,  confounding 
the  care  needed  by  her  constant  suffering  with 
pampering  of  the  flesh. 

Lady  Middleton's  perfect  consideration  for  all 
her  guests,  a  delicacy  regarding  others  expressed 
by  look,  word,  and  deedf  and  the  wonderful  power 
which  enabled  her  to  place  herself  sympathetically 
without  effort  close  to  people  in  all  circumstances, 
had  gone  home  to  Miss  Bird  with  self-convicting 
force,  and  we  find  her  dwelling  on  the  subject  in 
many  letters.  "  The  heart,"  she  concludes,  "  only 
grows  strong  by  loving  and  working,  and  so  only 
can  ever  follow  the  Master,  and  happily  there  are 
always  people  to  be  loved  and  helped." 

At  The  Cottage  she  worked  unremittingly. 
Mr.  Murray  desired  to  publish  her  book  on  Japan 
as  soon  as  it  was  completed,  and  proofs  were  already 


ii4  THE   WIDE   EAST  [CHAP.V 

coming  and  going.  She  and  Henrietta  left  Mull 
for  Oban  in  October  and  settled  for  a  last  week  of 
quiet  there.  Isabella  was  in  better  health,  but 
"tired."  She  wrote: 

I  think  perhaps  that  I  shall  never  again  have  such 
a  serenely  happy  four  months.  I  shall  always  in  the 
future  as  in  trie  past  have  to  contest  constitutional 
depression  by  earnest  work  and  by  trying  to  lose 
myself  in  the  interests  of  others ;  and  full  and  interest- 
ing as  my  life  is,  I  sometimes  dread  a  battle  of  years. 

When  they  left  Oban  for  the  south,  she  spent  a 
few  days  with  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie  at  24,  Hill 
Street,  and  then  continued  her  journey  to  London, 
where  she  lived  at  16  Oakley  Square.  Her  aunt 
in  Eton  Road  died  while  Miss  Bird  was  in  Japan, 
and  the  shadow  of  death  again  encompassed  her. 
Lady  Parkes,  who  had  done  so  much  for  her,  was 
dying.  Sir  Harry  had  been  telegraphed  for,  and 
returned,  alas !  only  the  day  before  the  funeral.  She 
was  unwilling  to  die,  because  of  her  six  children,  but 
no  woman  was  ever  spiritually  fitter  to  pass  through 
the  brief,  dark  corridor  to  heaven.  Isabella  suffered 
as  she  watched  her  shrink  from  entering. 

Not  all  the  preaching  since  Adam 
Can  make  death  other  than  death. 

Meanwhile  reviewers  were  busy  with  The  Rocky 
Mountains,  and  some  of  them,  notably  those  of  The 
Times  and  The  Saturday  Review,  had  shocked  her  by 
their  hasty  assumption  that  the  Hawaiian  riding-dress 
used  by  her  was  a  male  garment.  She  corrected  their 
ignorant  blunder  in  a  short  note  added  to  the  preface 
of  the  second  edition,  for  which  there  was  now  an 
eager  call. 

Dean     Stanley    told     Mr.     Murray    that    "  every- 

i88o]  THE  ROCKY  MOUNTAINS  115 

body   asks    everybody,   '  Have   you   read    The  Rocky 
Mountains  ? ' " 

Mr.  Murray  is  delighted  and  I  find  him  delightful. 
I  told  him  with  some  fear  that  I  had  refused  a 
favourable  notice  in  The  Saturday  Review  from  Mr. 
Loftie,  and  he  was  quite  sympathetic.  He  asked  me 
to  go  and  finish  Japan  in  his  country  house,  but 
I  need  solitude  for  work.  The  critics  have  not 
scented  out  impropriety  in  the  letters.  Travellers 
are  privileged  to  do  the  most  improper  things  with 
perfect  propriety.  The  pity  and  yearning  to  save 
Mountain  Jim  that  I  felt  have  taught  me  a  little 
of  what  I  think  may  at  an  immeasurable  distance 
be  the  pity  and  yearning  of  the  Father.  People 
will  find  my  Japan  flat  and  dull  after  The  Rocky 
Mountains.  Hennie  has  been  very  poorly  from  a 
chill  caught  at  church — in  bed  eight  days,  and  I  have 
been  anxious  about  her. 

Miss  Bird  joined  her  sister  in  December  at 
No.  19  Coates  Crescent,  their  winter  quarters  in 
Edinburgh.  By  New  Year's  Day,  1880,  a  third 
edition  of  The  Rocky  Mountains  was  in  the  press, 
and  she  was  finishing  Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan. 

Henrietta  was  a  little  better,  and  the  usual  Edin- 
burgh "grind"  of  dinners  and  tea-parties  had  well 
begun.  Both  were  drawn  into  the  vortex  during 
January,  and  Henrietta  wrote  to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid  : 

I  long  very  much  for  a  single  week  of  stillness 
and  pure  air,  but  such  longings  must  be  stifled  for 
some  time  to  come.  It  aggravates  me  to  know  of 
the  glorious  weather  there  has  been  lately  in  my 
Hebride,  and  to  know  how  blue  the  water  and  the 
sky  must  be,  and  how  all  my  familiar  scenes  must  be 
looking  their  loveliest.  I  am  more  and  more  con- 
vinced that  winter  is  the  time  to  be  in  the  Highlands 
and  is  the  worst  time  in  town.  "She"  is  toiling  to 
finish  her  book. 

The  dissolution  of  Parliament,  and  the  consequent 
hubbub  of  elections,  decided  Mr.  Murray  to  withhold 

"6  THE   WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

Japan  at  Easter  and  to  delay  its  publication  until 
the  House  of  Commons  was  formed  and  constituted, 
as  he  knew  that  literature  had  little  chance  until  the 
electoral  fray  was  over.  So  Miss  Bird  had  a  respite 
in  her  plodding,  and  went  south  early  in  April,  first  to 
Birdsall  House,  to  pay  Lady  Middleton  a  short  visit, 
then  to  London,  to  keep  faith  with  Mr.  Murray,  who 
gave  a  dinner  party  in  her  honour,  and  then  back 
to  Birdsall,  where  she  met  Miss  Gordon  Gumming 
laden  with  new  portfolios  full  of  treasures. 

She  returned  to  Coates  Crescent  about  April  20, 
carrying  a  superb  and  enormous  bouquet,  which 
she  took  to  a  party  at  Sir  Alexander  Grant's  the 
following  evening. 

It  made  a  great  sensation.  I  really  believe  that 
few  of  the  people  had  seen  a  bouquet  of  such  size. 
Murmurs  of  wonderment  ran  round  the  room,  and 
all  the  learned  men  were  in  raptures.  It  is  quite 
fresh  for  to-night,  and  Lady  Teignmouth  has  sent 
across  the  Crescent  to  invite  it,  Lord  Teignmouth 
having  wondered  at  it  last  night. 

Henrietta  had  gone  to  Tobermory  on  April  i, 
after  a  week  of  suffering.  In  her  last  letter  to  Mrs. 
Macdiarmid,  dated  April  16,  she  says  : 

You  can  imagine  how  weak  I  was  for  the  journey. 
I  never  felt  so  weak  on  that  voyage  before,  and  I 
continued  so  for  a  few  days  after  coming  here;  but 
I  am  much  better  now — in  fact,  quite  a  new  person, 
though  far  from  strong  yet.  Mrs.  A.  Macdonald  has 
been  taking  me  out  daily  for  a  sail,  which  has  done 
more  for  me  than  any  doctor  could  have  done. 

In  addition  to  her  illness,  Henrietta  had  to  look 
after  the  caretaker  of  The  Cottage,  to  send  her  to  the 
infirmary  in  Edinburgh,  and  to  secure  the  services 
of  a  kindly  neighbour.  She  meant  to  return  to 
Coates  Crescent  to  welcome  her  sister  back,  but  was 

i88o]  HENRIETTA'S   ILLNESS  117 

first  storm-stayed  at  The  Cottage  and  then  seized 
by  a  feverish  cold  which  laid  her  up  only  a  few 
days  after  writing  the  letter  quoted. 

The  news  of  her  illness  decided  Miss  Bird  to  go 
at  once  to  Mull.  At  every  stage  of  the  journey 
telegrams  from  the  doctor  met  her,  indicating  the 
growing  seriousness  of  the  feverish  attack,  which 
became  typhoid.  There  is  no  doubt  that  its  germs 
had  been  developing  all  spring,  and  it  was  with 
agonised  foreboding  that  Miss  Bird  read  the  last 
message  at  Oban.  She  sailed  thence  on  board  the 
Clydesdale  on  the  2?th,  reaching  The  Cottage  about 
two  o'clock  and  finding  her  sister  too  weak  to  speak 
or  even  open  her  eyes. 

The  doctor  told  her  that  he  could  do  no  more, 
and  that  he  had  telegraphed  for  Dr.  Bishop,  who 
arrived  on  the  3Oth,  bringing  with  him  all  neces- 
saries and  an  admirable  nurse,  the  superintendent 
of  the  fever  ward  in  the  Edinburgh  Infirmary,  who 
sacrificed  her  holiday  to  nurse  Henrietta.  It  was, 
too,  by  what  one  is  tempted  to  call  a  providential 
accident  that  Dr.  Bishop  was  enabled  to  devote 
himself  to  the  treasured  patient.  He  had  been 
riding  three  weeks  earlier,  when  his  horse  fell  and 
rolled  over  him,  breaking  his  leg,  so  that  he  was 
unable  to  continue  his  customary  practice,  and  rest 
had  been  specially  enjoined  upon  him.  On  May 
26  Dr.  Bishop  writes  to  Mr.  Murray: 

Miss  Isabella  Bird  desires  me  to  tell  you  that  she  is 
here  watching  her  sister,  who  is  dangerously  ill  with 
typhoid  fever,  of  which  this  is  the  thirty-sixth  day.  .  .  . 
I  am  to  say  that  she  has  had  many  difficulties  and 
hardships  in  travelling,  as  you  know,  but  never  any- 
thing equal  to  this,  apart  from  the  anxiety.  This  has 
arisen  from  the  remoteness  and  isolation  of  the  island 
at  this  season,  the  smallness  of  the  house,  the  madness 

ii8  THE  WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

of  an  old  and  valued  servant,  the  breakdown  (from 
typhoid)  of  the  volunteer  substitute,  and  from  the 
abject  panic  amongst  the  natives,  who  fly  The  Cottage 
as  a  pest  house. 

Henrietta  was  most  efficiently  tended.  Her  times 
of  prostration  were  frequent,  and  the  flickering  flame 
of  life  seemed  again  and  again  on  the  point  of 
expiring ;  but  the  remedies  revived  her  for  some 
time,  and  her  sister  began  to  hope  that  she  would 
recover.  She  seldom  opened  her  eyes,  but  even  in 
her  wandering  the  few  words  that  she  spoke 
were  of  sweet  and  tender  gratitude  for  their  care. 
But  she  did  not  realise  how  ill  she  was,  and  they  did 
not  dare  to  tell  her  so  long  as  a  glimmer  of  hope 

I  can  only  trust  to  God  [wrote  Miss  Bird],  who  may 
see  fit  to  spare  me  my  last  treasure,  though  I  often 
feel  that  it  is  selfish  to  pray  that  one  so  prepared  to 
see  God  should  for  my  sake  be  detained  among  the 
troubles  of  this  troublesome  world. 

Then  she  continued  of  Dr.  Bishop  : 

There  is  such  a  strength  in  having  so  good  a  man 
and  so  skilful  a  doctor,  who  knows  her  constitution 
thoroughly,  in  the  house.  He  makes  me  feel  that  he 
is  not  dull,  for  he  goes  out  for  hours  on  horseback, 
though  his  leg  is  in  splints,  and  sees  cases  of  poor 
people  from  all  the  neighbourhood. 

Mrs.  Allan  of  Aros  and  other  friends  sent  in  cooked 
food  almost  daily.  The  poor  sorrowed  for  their 
friend,  and  from  early  morning  stood  outside  the 
garden  waiting  to  hear  how  she  had  passed  the 
night.  One  night  half  the  neighbours  sat  up  in  great 
distress,  because  she  was  thought  to  be  sinking ;  and 
in  the  sickroom  were  masses  of  the  spring  flowers 
she  loved,  gathered  fresh  every  morning.  The  month 


From  a  photograph  by  /.  Mojfat. 

i88o]  HENRIETTA'S  DEATH  119 

of  May,  which  had  been  spent  in  hoping  and  striving, 
ended  in  surrender,  for  the  dear  one  passed  away 
early  in  June. 

At  the  end  the  superstitious  islanders  avoided 
The  Cottage  entirely,  and  Dr.  Bishop,  in  writing  to 
Mr.  Murray  on  June  6,  gives  a  graphic  account 
of  the  way  in  which  the  last  sad  offices  were 
carried  out: 

I  cannot  tell  you  how  nobly  and  gently  the  sufferer 
bore  the  illness,  and  how  in  her  very  delirium  her 
thoughts  were  always  holy,  innocent,  and  unselfish. 
After  the  death  the  carpenter,  selected  as  the  best 
man,  declined  to  enter  the  house  to  measure  the  body, 
which  had  to  be  done  by  myself  and  a  gentleman  who 
had  just  arrived  from  Edinburgh  to  offer  help  to 
Miss  Bird.  In  the  evening  the  coffin  was  deposited 
on  the  doorstep,  and  it  had  to  be  carried  upstairs  by 
Dr.  McLachlan  (the  local  practitioner),  the  nurse,  and 
myself.  We  reverently  laid  the  body  into  its  narrow 
resting-place,  admiring  greatly  its  loveliness,  and  its 
gentle  dignity,  and  its  heavenly  smile.  Then  I  led  in 
Miss  Bird,  who,  after  kissing  the  brow  tenderly, 
covered  the  face  for  the  last  time,  after  which  Dr. 
McL.  and  I  screwed  down  the  lid.  Thus  it  happened 
that  only  those  who  loved  the  saintly  one  touched  her 
after  death.  Miss  Bird  is  pretty  well  at  present.  She 
is  woefully  distressed,  and  yet  she  bears  her  grief  as 
a  gentle  Christian  woman  snould. 

It  was  perhaps  well  that  these  duties  were  forced 
upon  Miss  Bird.  They  saved  her  from  collapse, 
both  of  body  and  spirit.  The  coffin  was  closed  and 
they  left  the  deserted  home  for  Edinburgh,  bearing 
their  dead  with  them,  halting  at  Oban  on  the  way, 
where  they  stayed  at  Altnacraig. 

Mrs.  Blackie  remembers  well  her  friend's  unspeak- 
able sorrow,  the  white  face,  the  rigidity  of  a  grief 
that  chilled  and  devitalised  her,  the  awful  loneliness 
that  wrapped  her  round, 

120  THE  WIDE   EAST  [CHAP,  v 

She  went  straight  to  her  room  and  stayed  there. 
Dr.  Bishop  walked  up  and  down  the  lawn  with  Mrs. 
Blackie,  and  entreated  her  to  plead  his  cause  with 
Isabella — who,  brave  woman  though  she  was  in  all 
circumstances  that  called  for  courage,  was  utterly 
unfitted  for  heart-loneliness,  and  might  sink  under 
its  pressure. 

Next  day  they  took  the  train  to  Edinburgh,  where 
she  was  the  guest  of  Miss  Cullen,  at  33  Royal 
Terrace.  It  was  from  this  house  that  the  funeral 
took  place.  Her  uncle,  the  Rev.  John  Lawson, 
came  from  Seaton  Carew  to  officiate  at  the  grave ; 
Mr.  Cullen  and  Dr.  Hanna  took  the  service  in  the 
house.  Sir  Harry  Parkes  was  there,  ready  to  mourn 
with  her  who  had^  so  deeply  mourned  his  wife, 
and  many  who  had  known  and  loved  Henrietta 
in  Edinburgh  gathered  round  the  grave  in  Dean 
Cemetery,  where  mother,  father,  and  child  were  laid, 
their  ransomed  spirits  reunited,  and  "  with  Christ, 
which  is  far  better." 

Miss  Bird  stayed  with  these  valued  friends  till 
the  end  of  July,  receiving  at  their  hands  the  tenderest 
consideration.  Some  of  the  letters  written  during 
summer  give  a  glimpse  of  her  agony  of  regret.  One 
to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid,  written  on  July  8,  says  : 

My  own  sorrow  does  not  dull  me  to  yours ;  you 
will  never  quite  get  over  it — you  will  miss  her  when- 
ever a  new  joy,  or  sorrow,  or  difficulty  comes,  for — 
as  she  told  me  with  such  pleasure — you  said  she 
"  was  the  mother  of  your  spirit."  She  loved  you  so 
dearly.  In  going  over  her  papers,  I  found  every 
note  and  letter  you  had  ever  written  her  tied  up  in 
packets  by  years.  I  burned  these  unlooked  at  of 
course.  They  were  among  her  treasures.  I  hear  her 
now  calling  you  "  child,"  and  remember  her,  oury  enjoy- 
ment of  seeing  you  last  year,  I  like  all  you  say 

i88o]  SORROW  121 

so  thoroughly  and  feel  how  she  would  like  it.  Oh, 
Mary,  the  anguish  is  awful.  She  was  my  world, 
present  or  absent,  seldom  absent  from  my  thoughts. 
Such  a  lovely,  angelic  being,  as  a  friend  writes — 
"so  beautiful  a  mind  and  so  lovely  a  disposition 
have  been,  I  should  think,  rarely  united  on  earth." 
And  now  all  is  gone.  I  seem  as  if  I  must  return  to 
Tobermory  to  the  scenes  and  people  she  loved,  and 
spend  some  weeks  in  reading  her  precious  papers. 
I  seem  hardly  to  care  what  becomes  of  me,  and  yet 
I  pray  God  to  make  me  follow  her  helpful,  loving 
footsteps.  I  must  not  lose  sight  of  you,  very  dear 
to  me  for  the  love  on  both  sides. 


HENRIETTA  BIRD,  whom  her  sister  mourned  so  deeply, 
is     still     remembered     with     devoted     affection     in 
Tobermory,  although  it  is  now  a  quarter  of  a  century 
since   she  was   called    away  from   the   scene   of  her 
loving   endeavours   to   bring  light   into   dark   homes 
and  comfort  to  sorrow-stricken  hearts.      She  is  still 
known  there  as  "  The  Blessed  One,"  some  quality  of 
unruffled    peace,    whose    still   radiance  shone  in   her 
eyes,  having  evoked  from  the  spontaneous  symbolism 
of  Celtic   minds   this   apt    description.      Her  genius 
was  moral  rather  than  intellectual.     Less  complex  of 
character,   less   powerful    mentally,   less    courageous 
physically,   than   her  gifted   sister,   she   excelled  her 
in   spiritual   attainment,   in    the   dignity   of  steadfast 
faith,   the   serenity   of  a  soul   ennobled   by  constant 
dwelling  in  the  presence  of  the  Most  High.     She  lived 
in  a  world   apart ;  a  retreat   from   which  only  duty 
summoned  her.     Her  parents  employed  and  bounded 
her   activities  while  they  lived,  and  her  devotion  to 
both  is  a  revelation  of  filial  affection.     Perhaps  her 
mother  was   dearest   to    her;    she    clung   to    her  in 
childhood,  and  learnt  almost  everything  from  her  in 
girlhood,  for  Mrs.  Bird  had  maintained  her  resolution 
to  teach  her  sensitive  little  ones  herself,  and  studied 
history,  literature,  and  popular  science  in  so  thorough 
a    fashion    for    the    task    that    both    children    were 



convinced  that  no  one  in  the  world  was  so  clever  as 
their  mother.  Henrietta  kept  a  diary  even  at  the  time 
of  her  father's  last  illness,  as  well  as  in  1866,  and  in 
it  she  recorded  every  word,  emotion,  and  suffering, 
and  each  change  which  befell  her  parents,  in  such  a 
fashion  as  to  witness  now  to  her  absolute  preoccu- 
pation with  both.  Her  own  character  resembled 
that  rather  of  her  mother  than  her  father,  while 
Isabella  inherited  her  father's  impulse  and  en- 

Mrs.  Brown,  their  neighbour  at  Wyton,  writes  of 

The  two  sisters  were  widely  different  in  girlhood, 
their  temperament  and  characteristics,  as  well  as 
intellectual  tastes  and  acquirements,  varying  greatly, 
but  both  were  charming  companions  and  able  to 
converse  well  on  many  subjects.  What  one  lacked 
the  other  possessed,  and  thus  together  they  formed 
a  perfect  combination.  Henrietta  was  timid  except 
where  her  sense  of  duty  bade  her  be  courageous ; 
very  simple  in  her  tastes,  and  very  fond  of  study 
and  scholarly  pursuits.  Above  everything  she  loved 
nature ;  this  was  part  of  her  spiritual  life  and  of  her 
devotion  to  God  and  through  Him  to  all  His  creatures. 
Her  spirituality  was  felt  by  all  with  whom  she 
came  in  contact ;  it  needed  no  expression  in  words. 
Henrietta  looked  up  to  Isabella  with  reverence  as 
well  as  love,  delighting  in  her  strength,  energy  of 
purpose,  and  power  of  mind,  and  finding  in  her 
spiritual  understanding  and  true  sympathy.  Henrietta's 
pleasure  consisted  in  giving  pleasure  to  others.  In 
the  early  days  of  our  friendship,  we  often  met  in  her 
beautiful  home  on  the  banks  of  the  Ouse,  taking 
tea  together,  sometimes  indulging  in  a  little  picnic 
on  an  island  close  at  hand.  She  was  a  completely 
unselfish  character,  thinking  little  of  herself  and 
much  of  others.  When  my  children  were  young, 
Henrietta  £ave  them  daily  little  astronomical  talks, 
during  a  visit  to  us,  and  these  delighted  me  as  much 
as  the  children.  Boating  and  walking  were  her 
favourite  pastimes,  and  during  the  summer  she  was 

I24  "THE   BLESSED   ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

frequently  to  be  met  sculling  herself  on  the  broad 
river  near  the  rectory.  In  March,  1858,  I  was  called 
to  part  from  my  father,  and  I  shall  never  forget  her 
loving  sympathy  with  me  in  my  loss.  When  two 
months  later  her  own  father  was  taken,  we  sorrowed 

It  was  characteristic  of  her  that  she  never  wasted 
time.  Some  tranquil  task  fell  to  each  hour ;  her 
recreations  were  all  simple.  If  the  amazing  penetra- 
tion which  gave  her  sister  the  mastery  over  most 
difficult  and  complex  subjects  was  not  hers,  the 
patient  studiousness  of  a  seeker  after  truth  enabled 
her  to  tackle  Hebrew,  Greek,  and  Latin,  to  devote 
herself  to  natural  philosophy,  astronomy,  and 
botany,  to  work  out  mathematical  problems,  to 
collate  historical  descriptions,  to  delight  in  all  true 
poetry,  and  above  all  so  to  study  the  Scriptures  that 
her  mind  and  memory  were  a  storehouse  of  their 
treasures,  which  gave  their  own  character  to  her 
thoughts  and  speech. 

For  to  all  her  graces  she  added  that  of  the  pure 
in  heart,  who  turn  away  from  morbid  interests  and 
secular  excitements,  and  love  all  things  that  are 
lovely  and  of  good  report.  Her  joys  were  in  the 
home,  in  the  beauty  of  nature,  in  the  glory  of  sunset 
over  the  western  seas,  in  the  fragrant  flowers  of 
wild  and  meadow,  the  low  burnet  roses  on  the 
shores  of  Mull ;  the  thrift  gardens  amongst  its 
rocks ;  the  saxifrages  and  fragile  sorrel-cups ;  the 
rare  wild  shamrock  on  Dun  Ee ;  the  astonishing 
grace  of  reaches  of  oak  fern  opening  in  May;  the 
fleeting  cloud-shadows  on  Highland  hills ;  the 
thrilling  blue  of  summer  seas.  As  she  derived  from 
her  mother  unobtrusive  ability  and  unflinching  con- 
scientiousness, so  too  from  her  she  caught  that  sense 
of  the  divine  in  nature,  a  glimpse  of  the  Creator's 

i88o]  SUNSHINE  125 

presence.  On  her  deathbed  Mrs.  Bird  referred  con- 
stantly to  the  sunrise  and  the  Sun  of  Righteousness 
and  to  a  night  journey  she  had  taken  the  year 
before,  when  she  had  watched  from  the  carriage 
window  the  upward  leap  of  the  summer  sun.  Amongst 
the  many  hymns  which  her  daughters  sang  to  her, 
Keble's  "  Sun  of  my  Soul "  was  her  favourite. 
Henrietta  too  rejoiced  in  the  coming  of  light  "  with 
healing  on  its  wings,"  and  her  eyes  seemed  ever  to 
be  looking  for  the  everlasting  day. 

Give  thanks  in  everything  ! 

For  the  call  (whene'er  it  be) 
That  shall  bid  thy  prisoned  soul  take  wing — 

Saved  everlastingly  I 
Faith,  lost  in  vision  bright ! 
Shadows,  in  perfect  day  ! 
Fix  there  thy  gaze,  and  the  distant  light 
Shall  illumine  all  thy  way. 

So  she  wrote,  and  there  her  gaze  was  fixed.  Con- 
stantly the  poetic  reverie  to  which  she  gave  expression 
turned  to  the  sun  and  its  message  of  the  light  beyond. 
Thus  she  wrote  of  a  summer  day  strayed  into  mid- 
October  : 

Cool  airs  breathed  gently  from  the  north, 

The  waves  as  glass  lay  stiH, 
When  that  rose-tinted  morn  looked  forth 
Upon  the  dewy  hill. 

All  day  the  hours  in  rhythmic  flow 

A  poem  seemed  to  sing ; 
Till  in  warm  hues  and  tenderer  glow, 

The  eve  was  mellowing. 

I  watched  the  climbing  shadow  creep 

Up  high  Ben  Talla's  side  ; 
And  on  his  crest  in  purple  deep, 

The  latest  radiance  died. 

One  halcyon  day  !  'tis  all  1    Adieu  ! 

One  pledge  to  memory  given : 
The  skies  beyond  the  clouds  are  blue, 

The  sun  is  still  in  heaven. 

126  "THE   BLESSED  ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

Henrietta  had  begun  to  know  and  love  the  West 
Highlands  in  1850,  when  she  was  about  fifteen 
years  old.  Before  Mrs.  Bird  died,  she  and  her  mother 
had  been  especially  drawn  to  Tobermory,  where 
they  stayed  again  and  again,  at  one  time  with  the 
Miss  Campbells,  then  in  the  Baptist  Church  Manse 
with  Mrs.  Macfarlane,  to  whom  she  felt  strongly 
attached.  In  April,  1905,  Mrs.  Macfarlane  was  reading 
over  Henrietta's  letters,  with  the  kindly  wish  to  con- 
tribute as  much  as  possible  to  this  brief  sketch  of  her 
friend,  when  her  husband,  who  was  in  the  room, 
hearing  a  sigh,  turned  to  see  her  head  droop  and  the 
letters  fall  from  her  hand.  He  went  to  her  to  find 
that  in  that  sigh  her  spirit  had  fled. 

It  must  have  been  while  staying  with  the  Macfarlanes 
in  Tobermory,  perhaps  in  1870,  that  Henrietta  became 
interested  in  a  little  girl  of  lonely  and  sensitive  nature, 
who  was  much  drawn  to  her  friend,  and  as  time  went 
on  repaid  her  with  devoted  affection.  So  strong  was 
the  tie  that  Henrietta  was  more  like  her  mother 
than  her  friend  and  counsellor  only.  She  supplied 
care,  guidance,  and  supervision,  taught  her  to  love  read- 
ing and  to  seek  knowledge,  and  procured  for  her  the 
best  possible  education.  The  little  girl  was  impres- 
sionable and  responded  to  the  influence  which  God 
had  provided  for  her,  and  this  great  interest  filled 
the  blank  in  Henrietta's  life  caused  by  the  loss  of 
her  mother  and  the  frequent  protracted  absences  of 
her  sister.  She  had  the  joy  of  watching  this  young 
life's  growth,  it.s  mental  development,  its  awakening  to 
all  the  standards  of  goodness  towards  which  she  herself 
so  unfalteringly  pressed.  She  was  the  "  mother  of  her 
spirit,"  as  indeed  her  charge  told  her  later,  when  she 
married  soon  after  returning  from  the  excellent  school 
to  which  Henrietta  was  the  means  of  sending  her. 

i88o]  THE  COTTAGE  127 

When  the  Macfarlanes  left  Tobermory,  Henrietta 
stayed  with  Mrs.  Thomson  at  Ulva  Cottage  so  long 
as  there  was  a  room  for  her,  a  room  that  looked  out 
to  the  gleaming  Sound  of  Morvern  and  the  glowing 
heights  beyond.  But  later  she  migrated  to  a  cottage 
a  little  lower  down.  The  place  had  grown  very 
dear  to  her — for  its  beauty  and  the  come  and  go 
of  fishing-boats  upon  the  bay  below ;  for  the  lovely 
woods  of  Aros  opposite,  the  islands  that  barred  the 
harbour  mouth ;  for  friendship  ripened  and  solitude 
sweetened  by  labours  of  love;  for  a  multitude  of  poor 
neighbours,  whose  homes  were  her  resort  when  sick- 
ness and  sorrow  shadowed  them,  on  whose  earthen 
floors  she  was  wont  to  kneel  and  pray  aloud  for  the 
healing  and  consoling  presence  of  the  Spirit,  whose 
secrets  were  confided  to  her,  sordid  secrets  often,  but 
sacred  to  "the  Blessed  One,"  who  had  learned  that 
in  hearing,  seeing,  and  silence  lay  the  power  to  save. 
So  she  decided  to  become  its  tenant,  and  a  lease  for 
five  years  from  Martinmas,  1876,  was  granted  by  the 
Deacons'  Court  of  the  Free  Church  of  Tobermory 
to  which  it  belonged. 

When  her  sister  was  in  the  Sandwich  Islands, 
during  the  spring  of  1873,  Henrietta  paid  the 
Misses  Mackenzie  a  long  visit  at  their  home  near 
Inverkeithing  in  Fife,  and  one  of  these  ladies, 
surviving  her  sister,  vividly  remembers  the  weeks 
of  her  stay.  She  was  very  delicate  at  the  time,  but 
was  able  to  enjoy  the  garden  and  the  surrounding 
country,  of  which  she  made  many  water-colour 
sketches.  Sometimes  she  was  induced  to  repeat  her 
own  verses  to  her  hostesses. 

She  was  not  only  good  and  clever  [writes  Miss 
Mackenzie],  but  charming.  She  had  the  peculiar 
happy  faculty  of  attracting  much  affection  from  many 


friends,  rich  and  poor — but  her  life,  so  uneventful, 
quiet,  and  retiring,  hidden  like  a  fragrant  violet, 
afforded  little  to  tell.  While  with  us,  she  received 
a  very  thick  letter-packet  from  Honolulu,  from  her 
sister — many  sheets  closely  written,  a  journal  letter ; 
on  the  envelope  was  written  outside,  "  No  bad  news 
in  this  letter ;  may  be  read  a  little  bit  at  a  time." 

The  water-colour  sketches  alluded  to  remind  us 
of  her  gift  for  reproducing  the  most  delicate  atmo- 
spheric impressions.  She  loved  the  West  Highlands 
nearly  as  much  for  their  wealth  of  exquisite  colouring 
as  for  their  human  interest — a  colouring  new  every 
morning  and  magical  every  evening,  except  when 
fierce  gales  blow,  or  a  pall  of  driving  mioi  shrouds 
sea  and  sky.  Sketching  was  one  of  her  favourite 
recreations,  but  she  was  too  shy  to  offer  the  little 
pictures  for  exhibition,  and  they  were  only  known 
to  her  intimate  friends.  Her  sister  liked  to  have  them 
mounted  and  hung,  and  crowded  her  walls  with  them, 
pointing  them  out  and  dwelling  upon  their  beauties 
to  her  visitors ;  but  Henrietta  herself  shrank  from 
admiring  comment  and  observation. 

Her  summers  were  always  too  brief  for  her  own 
liking,  but  unhappily  Tobermory  did  not  then  agree 
with  Isabella,  who  was  dearer  than  life  to  her,  so 
that  the  long  winters  were  spent  in  Edinburgh.  The 
one  exception  was  during  Miss  Bird's  absence  in 
Japan,  China,  and  Further  India,  when  Henrietta 
was  able  to  remain  in  her  cottage  for  fifteen  months 
without  interruption.  But  even  the  dreaded  winters 
in  town  had  compensations.  Gradually  Tobermory 
boys  and  girls  grew  old  enough  for  school,  college, 
or  service,  and  she  became  their  refuge  and  friend 
during  their  months  or  years  in  Edinburgh.  It  was 
a  special  pleasure  to  collect  them  round  the  breakfast- 
and  tea-table;  her  "Tobermory  Parties,"  she  called 


those  occasions,  and  triumphed  when  as  many  as 
six  were  gathered  together.  Two  of  these  were 
medical  students  in  whose  careers  both  sisters 
took  a  special  interest.  They  engaged  influential 
friends  to  counsel  them  as  to  their  profession 
and  to  help  their  first  steps  upon  its  ladder.  Once 
for  a  whole  winter  Henrietta's  adopted  charge 
stayed  with  her  and  attended  classes;  others  came 
for  visits,  when  they  needed  medical  advice  or  other 
help.  These  guests  were  chosen  for  the  joy  of 
brightening  dull  lives,  of  helping  them  to  congenial 
occupation,  of  securing  for  their  ailments  the  generous 
advice  and  assistance  of  skilled  physicians.  Henrietta's 
friends  were  made  for  reasons  very  unusual ;  for 
the  sake  of  their  poverty  and  need  of  her,  of  their 
loneliness  and  dependence  on  her  affection,  of  their 
sensitive  youth  and  instinctive  turning  to  her  for 
understanding  and  guidance,  of  their  sickness  and 
sorrow  and  bereavement,  and  their  faith  in  her 
sympathy  and  help. 

In  Tobermory  her  tea-parties  were  social  events. 
She  used  a  number  of  graceful  arts  to  make  them 
successful.  There  were  children's  parties,  and  grown- 
up gatherings  at  The  Cottage;  each  had  its  own 
attractions :  pictures,  stories,  games  for  the  one — 
telescope,  microscope,  conversation  for  the  other. 
Mrs.  Forrest,  her  working  housekeeper,  had  to  prepare 
the  scones  and  cakes,  Henrietta  gathered  and  arranged 
;  the  flowers,  often  helped  by  some  of  her  younger 

As  a  hostess  she  was  perfect.  Here  is  an  account 
of  her  reception  of  Sir  Thomas  Grainger  Stewart, 
who  often  enjoyed  an  hour's  talk  with  her,  and  who 
wrote  an  obituary  notice  of  her  in  The  Christian 
Monthly,  from  which  the  extract  is  borrowed : 


130  "THE   BLESSED   ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

Those  who  enjoyed  her  friendship  and  used  to  visit 
her  can  never  forget  the  fragile,  delicate  figure  which 
used  to  rise  from  some  occupation  to  receive  her 
guest ;  the  composed  and  intelligent  countenance,  the 
friendly  greeting,  the  cordial,  firm  grasp,  the  self-forget- 
fulness  with  which  the  work  that  had  been  occupying 
her  was  laid  aside.  There  was  no  time  wasted  in 
small  talk ;  at  once  some  topic  of  real  interest  was 
started  and  was  pursued  with  zest  and  frankest  state- 
ment of  opinion.  Whatever  her  occupation  had  been, 
she  was  always  at  leisure  from  herself  and  ready  to 
enter  into  the  thoughts  and  feelings  of  her  guest.  As 
the  conversation  went  on,  one  used  to  notice  her 
modesty  and  wisdom,  the  extent  of  her  knowledge,  the 
accuracy  of  her  perceptions,  the  felicity  of  expression 
(rendered  all  the  more  marked  by  a  slight  embarrass- 
ment of  utterance),  the  play  of  fancy,  and  the  goodness 
of  heart.  Some  experience  of  joy  or  sorrow,  some  new 
or  lofty  thought,  a  poem,  a  sunset  over  the  Atlantic  or 
behind  one  of  her  favourite  western  islands,  or  the 
story  of  some  generous  deed,  would  awaken  her  quiet 
enthusiasm  and  new  beauties  in  her  nature  would  be 

It  is  worthy  of  our  attention  that  there  seems  to 
have  been  no  time  in  her  life  when  she  doubted, 
or  was  for  a  moment  in  the  wilderness  of  disobedience 
and  forgetfulness  of  God.  There  was  no  crisis  of 
conviction  and  conversion. 

In  Edinburgh  she  went  with  her  mother  to  St. 
Thomas's  Church,  where  the  clergyman,  Mr.  Drum- 
mond,  was  their  valued  friend.  Often  in  the  evenings 
they  listened  to  Dr.  Candlish,  whom  both  sisters 
loved  and  understood.  Neither  was  prejudiced  in 
favour  of  Anglican  or  Presbyterian ;  and  the  divisions 
amongst  churches,  professedly  Christian,  interested 
them  vividly  as  spectators,  not  at  all  as  sharers. 
Henrietta  went  to  church  for  the  living  bread  and 
water,  not  for  the  fraction  of  differentiating  doctrine 
or  government. 

i88o]  STUDIES  131 

She  was  a  student,  as  we  have  already  learnt,  of 
Hebrew,  Greek,  Latin,  natural  philosophy,  astronomy, 
history,  and  literature;  and,  when  settled  in  her 
cottage,  she  began  to  take  lessons  in  botany  from 
Mr.  George  Ross.  He  was  an  enthusiast,  and  after 
four  lessons  she  grew  fascinated  by  the  wonders 
revealed  to  her  in  every  leaf,  stem,  and  blossom. 
Constant  delicacy  shadowed  her  last  years,  and  this 
pursuit  solaced  the  great  loneliness  which  she  endured 
during  her  sister's  absence  in  the  East.  She  gathered 
plants  as  she  walked  on  the  cliffs  or  in  the  woods, 
to  classify  and  so  to  verify  all  that  she  learned 
from  Mr.  Ross. 

But  her  favourite  study  was  the  Bible,  and  for 
this  she  sought  the  aid  of  Greek  and  Hebrew.  Along 
the  lighthouse  walk  she  found  a  slab  of  rock  sheltered 
from  the  sun,  whither  she  could  carry  her  books  and 
writing  materials,  and  which  served  at  once  as  chair 
and  table.  Here  she  spent  happy  hours  in  fine 
weather,  going  through  the  sacred  pages  which  she 
had  known  "from  a  child,"  but  in  which  she  found 
new  treasures  for  every  new  need.  This  was  one  of 
the  ever-full  sources  of  her  power  to  help  others. 
She  never  used  Scripture  for  perfunctory  quotations. 
She  used  it  charged  with  primary  significance,  "  by 
inspiration  of  God." 

The  Birds  were  all  great  Bible  students.  Isabella 
constantly  expressed  herself  in  the  language  of 
Scripture,  both  in  her  books  and  her  letters.  When 
packing  for  her  long  expeditions,  however  much 
she  sacrificed  her  personal  comfort  in  reducing  her 
travelling  gear,  her  Bible  went  with  her.  In  some 
articles  published  in  The  Leisure  Hour  in  1886,  giving 
an  account  of  her  pilgrimage  to  Mounts  Horeb  and 
Sinai  in  1879,  she  records  her  minute  comparison  of 

i32  "THE   BLESSED   ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

the  journey  through  the  desert  on  the  Asiatic  side 
of  the  Red  Sea — when  with  the  burning  heat  and 
thirst  of  fever  upon  her,  the  thermometer  registering 
110°  in  the  shade,  she  made  slow  and  painful  pro- 
gress— with  the  route  taken  by  the  children  of 
Israel,  for  whose  desolation  and  starvation  she  felt 
the  deepest  sympathy.  And  resting  all  Easter  Sunday 
on  the  slopes  of  Sinai,  she  read  their  whole  inspired 
history  from  Exodus  xii.  to  the  Captivity. 

This  was  just  before  her  return  to  spend  the 
summer  in  peace  with  Henrietta — their  last  summer 
together.  The  four  months  in  Edinburgh  which 
followed  were  a  time  of  distress  and  disheartening 
to  the  younger  sister.  She  made  efforts  to  go  out 
for  Isabella's  sake,  and  suffered  them  in  silence. 
Her  own  words  best  express  what  Edinburgh  meant 
to  her  still  mind  and  spirit.  They  occur  in  a  letter 
to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid,  to  whom  Henrietta  uttered  her 
inmost  heart: 

I  never  was  so  sorry  to  leave  my  cottage  as  this 
time.  My  illness,  by  the  daily,  hourly  kindness  it 
called  forth  from  my  friends  and  neighbours,  gave  an 
added  pathos  to  my  departure.  Poor  Mrs.  Forrest 
had  been  so  continually  about  me,  and  was  like  an  old 
family  servant  in  her  devotion — and  I  know  the  blank 
without  me  must  be  terrible.  Then  the  winter  beauty 
"eats  into  my  soul."  I  felt  town  most  depressing.  No 
one  would  believe  that  I  could  suffer  so  much  from 
the  separation  from  Nature,  "  my  loved  and  faithful 
friend."  The  want  of  my  hills,  blue  waters,  clear  skies, 
and  bright  sunshine  made  me  simply  wretched. 

From  childhood  she  had  been  independent  of  out- 
siders for  interest  and  happiness,  and  her  friends 
were  few  in  number  and  slowly  acquired.  While 
her  parents  lived,  Mrs.  Brown,  of  Houghton,  and 
Mrs.  Purves  seem  to  have  been  the  only  companions 

,880]  ON   COMPANIONS  133 

of  her  girlhood  really  loved  and  sought.  A  very 
quaint  little  note  to  her  mother  has  outlasted  both 
their  lives,  in  which  she  gives  her  reasons  for  de- 
clining companionship.  It  is  undated,  but  evidently 
belongs  to  her  early  teens,  before  Mrs.  Brown  came 
to  the  neighbourhood  of  Wyton  Rectory.  Evidently 
her  parents  had  urged  her  to  seek  companionship, 
regretting  her  loneliness  when  their  more  brilliant 
and  sociable  child  was  visiting  her  cousins.  The 
little  philosopher  wrote : 

I  think  that  for  some  people  it  is  very  good  to  have 
a  companion,  while  for  others  it  is  very  bad,  and  for 
others  not  exactly  bad,  yet  conducive  of  no  good.  I 
have  several  reasons  for  objecting  to  the  system  of 
companionship.  First,  because  I  have  never  got  from 
them  spiritual  profit,  or  yet  temporal  profit;  second, 
because  I  get  on  quite  as  well  without  companions, 
and  therefore  I  think  I  can  do  without  them  now  as 
much  as  I  did  before;  third,  because  I  have  been 
blest  with  a  very  dear  sister,  who  is  young,  and  to 
whom  I  can  tell  all  secrets  as  well  as  have  profitable 
conversation,  which  I  could  not  do  with  a  companion, 
and  therefore  I  need  no  other.  Older  companions 
there  are,  many  of  them,  who  are  suitable  and  profit- 
able— viz.  Mrs.  Groocock,  Miss  Edge,  Mary  Toogood. 
These  are  the  sort  of  companions  I  like. 

There  is  a  priggish  note  in  this  early  effusion,  and 
as  Henrietta  grew  older  she  discovered  the  joys  of 
friendship  and  relaxed  her  stern  code,  but  never 
wholly,  for  I  have  vexed  memories  of  hours  spent 
in  answering  question  after  question  upon  books  of 
history  and  literature  just  studied,  instead  of  being 
let  loose  upon  the  refreshing  stream  of  natural 
conversation.  To  the  end  she  maintained  her  con- 
viction that  companionship  must  pay  toll,  spiritual 
or  temporal. 

None  the  less,   she   had   a  charming  vein   of  fun 
which  sparkled  at  intervals  and  found  vent  in  rhymes 

134  "THE   BLESSED  ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

sent  with  gifts  at  Christmas,  or  in  half-shy  retort 
when  with  those  she  loved.  Once  she  darned  twenty- 
five  pairs  of  stockings  at  sixpence  a  pair  for  a  friend, 
who  paid  the  money  earned  into  the  treasury  of 
some  charity.  When  Henrietta  sent  back  the  last 
three  pairs  her  patience  was  exhausted,  and  broke 
into  petulant  verse. 

Oh  ye  innumerable  holes ! 

Oh  toes  that  mock  repair  ! 
Oh  gaping  heels  !     Oh  tattered  soles  ! 

Ye  drive  me  to  despair. 

Here,  take  your  stockings,  put  them  on, 

Pay  me  six  times  a  penny  ; 
I'm  glad  to  think  the  last  is  done, 

For  it  was  worse  than  any. 

And  now — since  patience  has  its  bounds — 

So  dire  the  toil  and  shocking, 
Unless  you  turn  your  pence  to  pounds 

I've  mended  your  last  stocking. 

Her  mental  wandering  during  intervals  of  delirium 
in  her  last  illness  was  an  index  to  her  habit  of 
spiritual  reverie.  The  murmured  words  were  all  of 
heaven,  its  radiant  vistas  and  pure  delights.  Only 
one  sad  mood  is  recorded,  when  she  fancied  that 
those  about  her  were  preventing  her  from  going  to 
her  beloved  "child"  at  Tiree. 

Ten  years  earlier  she  had  written  a  hymn  called 
"  In  Everything  give  Thanks."  It  almost  seemed  as 
if  her  dying  were  a  thank-offering  for  the  life  of 
sacred  joys  and  quiet  work  which  the  Father  had 
gjven  her,  and  from  which  on  June  2,  1880,  she 
passed  behind  the  veil. 

Dr.  Bishop  wrote  to  Mrs.  Milford  on  July  4,  1880  : 

She  bore  her  sufferings  with  wonderful  patience 
and  sweetness.  The  nurse  and  I  felt  that  we  had 
never  seen  so  lovely  a  patient.  To  the  very  last, 

i88o]  "A  MINISTERING  ANGEL"  135 

and  even  in  delirium,  she  delighted  in  nature  and  in 
the  beauty  of  flowers.  The  end  was  most  calm  and 
peaceful.  After  death  her  face  became  angelic  in  its 
beauty  and  calm,  sweet  dignity.  She  was  a  ministering 
angel  in  Tobermory;  all  who  knew  her  here  are 
mourning  deeply,  and  many  are  only  now  finding 
out  how  much  she  was  to  them.  She  was  so  quiet 
and  free  from  self-obtrusion  that  it  seems  to  have 
needed  her  removal  to  reveal  her  value  to  many. 

Dr.  Hanna  preached  her  funeral  sermon  in  St. 
Cuthbert's  Church,  Edinburgh,  and  of  this  her  sister 
preserved  one  exquisite  passage : 

A  mansion  then  for  her,  the  beautiful,  the  meek, 
the  gentle,  the  lowly,  the  loving,  the  holy — in  whose 
heart  the  seeds  of  grace  had  been  sown  in  earliest 
days,  who  had  never  known  her  Saviour  but  to  love 
Him,  and  who  had  loved  Him  so  well  and  followed 
Him  so  faithfully  that  all  through  life  her  loving 
hands  busied  themselves  in  tenderly  binding  up 
bruised  and  broken  hearts  and  in  doing  numberless 
kindly  offices  to  all  the  needy  about  her. 

Professor  Blackie  had  dedicated  a  poem  to  her  three 
years  earlier,  which  had  been  translated  into  Gaelic, 
and  was  well  known  throughout  the  West  Highlands. 
These  verses  are  given  in  an  appendix  to  the  present 

On  June  16  Miss  Bird  writes  to  Mr.  Murray: 

I  thank  you  very  truly  for  your  kind  letters  of 
sympathy  as  well  as  for  the  one  received  by  Dr. 
Bishop,  which  he  has  given  to  me,  and  for  Mrs. 
Murray's.  It  is  all  too  terrible,  except  that  a  stingless 
death  crowned  one  of  the  loveliest  lives  ever  lived. 
She  was  everything  to  me,  whether  present  or  absent — 
the  inspiration  of  all  my  literary  work,  my  best  public ; 
my  home  and  fireside,  my  most  intimate  and  con- 
genial friend — as  well  as  a  "  ministering  angel "  to 
all  who  came  in  contact  with  her  in  needs  of  every 
kind.  Beloved  in  life,  and  mourned  in  death  as  few 


are  mourned,  there  is  not  a  memory  of  her  which  is 
not  lovely,  and  this  to  me  is  at  once  the  sting  and  the 
solace  of  her  early  removal.  The  people  who  dared 
not  even  bring  the  coffin  to  the  house  mourn  for  her 
as  they  only  mourn  for  their  own,  and  here,  though 
only  our  own  relations  were  invited  to  the  funeral, 
there  was  a  crowd  round  the  grave  of  those  to  whom 
she  had  been  dear  and  helpful,  and  to  whom  life 
would  never  be  quite  the  same  again.  Utterly 
deserted  as  we  were  it  is  impossible  to  speak  too 
highly  of  the  noble  conduct  of  Dr.  Bishop,  who, 
with  a  large  and  increasing  practice,  out  of  humanity 
sacrificed  everything  for  more  than  five  weeks,  during 
which  time  he  never  was  in  bed ;  was  doctor,  friend, 
partially  nurse  and  servant;  and  at  the  last,  having 
risked  his  own  life  and  made  himself  lame  for  life  by 
exerting  himself  incessantly  with  a  leg  which  when 
he  came  had  not  been  broken  three  weeks,  with  the 
help  of  the  nurse  carried  out  the  coffin,  which  even 
those  who  loved  her  best  dared  not  enter  the  house  to 
remove.  It  is  top  soon,  and  I  am  too  dazed  with  grief 
and  fatigue  to  think  of  any  future. 

On  June  29  she  writes  again : 

I  am  going  to  Thusis,  in  the  Grisons,  for  six 
weeks,  on  a  visit  to  some  very  dear  friends  whose 
house,  for  twenty  years,  has  been  a  second  home  to 
my  sister  and  myself.  I  should  be  glad  to  hear  of  any 
one  travelling  to  Zurich  after  the  7th,  as  I  am  not 
used  to  travel  alone  on  the  Continent,  and  am  besides 
much  shaken  in  nerves. 

Will  you  tell  me  the  latest  date  when  the  Japan 
book  must  be  printed.  ...  I  can  hardly  bear  to  think 
of  the  book  now.  The  original  letters  were  written 
to  my  sister  and  rewritten  in  our  last  happy  summer 
in  the  little  cottage  at  Tobermory,  which  her  early 
death  has  consecrated  to  me  for  ever. 

Isabella  spent  all  August  and  part  of  September 
in  Switzerland  with  Miss  Clayton  and  the  Miss 
Kers.  Rest  and  quiet  were  essential  both  for  her 
health  and  to  finish  the  preparation  of  her  notes 

i88o]  CONSOLATION  137 

on   Japan,   which    Mr.    Murray  wished  to  publish  in 

While  she  was  abroad  news  came  to  her  of 
Lord  Middleton's  illness,  and  her  heart  went  out 
to  the  friend  with  whose  sad  tending  she  knew  so 
well  how  to  sympathise. 

It  is  wonderful  [she  wrote]  what  God  does  for  one 
when  human  help  is  helpless,  and  one  is  shut  up  to 
leaning  on  and  trusting  Him  alone.  I  have  felt  Him 
strongly  strengthen  me  in  my  agony  and  loneliness, 
and  it  is  worth  suffering  much  to  regain  the  "  child 
heart "  and  its  simple  faith,  and  to  know  whom  we 
have  believed  as  near,  true,  and  tender,  not  a  dead 
person,  but  a  living  person,  who  has  us  and  our 
beloved  in  his  keeping  for  life,  or  what  we  call  death. 

To  another  friend  she  wrote  in  August : 

I  think  I  can  say  that  God  has  comforted  and  sus- 
tained me,  or  I  should  utterly  have  fainted,  but  the 
sorrow  is  very  sore  and  often  threatens  to  overwhelm 
me.  We  were  truly  everything  to  each  other  and  our 
companionship  was  perfect  and  carried  on  even  in 
absence  by  our  detailed  and  daily  letters.  I  often 
told  her  that  she  was  "my  world."  She  was  so 
essential  in  every  respect  to  my  happiness,  and  things 
without  her  have  lost  nearly  all  their  interest.  She 
was  lovely  in  her  life,  following  Christ  in  all  things, 
and  lovely  in  her  death,  so  much  so  that  death  in 
her  case  nardly  seemed  like  dying.  I  had  no  idea 
till  now  of  the  powerful  influence  that  my  gentle 
darling  exercised,  or  how  widely  she  was  beloved. 
I  pray  that  He  who  strengthened  her  for  lowly 
service  may  strengthen  me  to  follow  her ;  but  oh  ! 
I  do  long  so  for  the  Father's  House  and  the  gathered 
family,  and  freedom  from  sin  and  from  the  constant 
effort  to  grasp  the  unseen. 

When  Miss  Bird  returned  with  her  friends  to 
Edinburgh  she  halted  only  two  days,  and  then  went 
to  Tobermory,  longing  for  and  yet  shrinking  from 
the  memories  and  associations  of  The  Cottage. 


Perhaps  she  had  too  strong  a  drawing  towards 
sorrow,  a  yielding  to  invincible  grief,  but  her  home 
had  ever  been  to  her  the  dearest  place  on  earth, 
her  parents  and  her  sister  had  ever  filled  and  satisfied 
her  heart,  so  that,  in  spite  of  a  myriad  interests  and 
countless  friends,  her  thoughts  dwelt  chiefly  with 
them,  and  she  worked  and  carried  out  her  projects 
stimulated  and  supported  by  their  presence,  whether 
actual  or  subconscious.  Each  loss  at  home  crushed 
her  and  her  only  comfort  came  from  God,  until  in 
His  good  time  gain  from  His  consolations  fortified 
her  spirit.  The  immediate  gain  was  won  in  her 
effort  to  take  up  Henrietta's  work  in  Tobermory. 
For  a  time  nothing  interested  her  beyond  the  papers, 
which  she  busied  herself  in  arranging,  and  the 
garden,  which  she  tended,  planting  and  digging 
herself.  Her  Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan  was  published 
and  she  put  the  parcel  of  copies  away  without 
opening  it. 

The  things  I  am  interested  in  are  her  interests, 
and  for  her  sake  I  have  become  attached  to  Tober- 
mory. The  Cottage  is  looking  lovely ;  I  have  replaced 
all  the  things  which  were  given  away  and  have 
brought  more  drawings  of  hers  for  the  walls,  and 
it  is  exactly  as  it  used  to  be  except  that  it  is  "  filled 
with  absence."  I  love  it  so.  We  were  so  happy 
here  last  year.  She  is  never  out  of  my  thoughts, 
a  living  memory  and  a  living  hope.  I  sometimes 
feel  as  if  to  have  known  her  well  was  enough  to 
lead  any  one  to  heaven.  She  was  indeed,  as  many 
of  the  people  here  call  her  in  Gaelic,  "  the  Blessed 

From  that  calmer  mood  of  memory  she  rose  into 
a  nobler  mood  of  activity,  a  better  tribute  to  the 
example  which  she  followed.  In  November  she 
wrote  to  Lady  Middleton : 

i88o]      UNBEATEN  TRACKS  IN  JAPAN      139 

I  came  here  on  October  i.  It  was  such  agony  that 
I  thought  I  must  leave  by  the  next  steamer ;  but  as 
days  went  by  and  human  interests  claimed  me,  and 
there  was  help  to  be  given  and  dying  people  to  be 
comforted,  the  first  anguish  calmed  into  a  sorrow  of 
exquisite  pain  and  intensity,  but  without  bitterness 
or  repining  against  Him  who  has  sent  it,  and  now 
I  think  of  staying  here  till  near  the  middle  of  next 
month.  .  .  .  Light  surely  will  break,  and,  whether  in 
the  light  or  in  the  darkness,  there  is  work  to  be  done, 
thank  God,  and  in  work  there  is  always  interest. 

By  the  middle  of  November  this  mood  revived 
her  interest  in  her  book,  published  in  two  volumes, 
already  in  a  third  edition,  and  reviewed  with  a  new 
note  of  admiring  respect  in  The  Quarterly  Review, 
St.  James's  Gazette,  Scotsman,  Athenceum,  and  many 
other  literary  journals.  She  could  even  feel  a  certain 
satisfaction  in  its  success,  for  reasons  which  she  thus 
expresses :  "  It  is  not  only  the  record  of  honest 
and  earnest  work,  but  it  vindicates  the  right  of  a 
woman  to  do  an}^thing  which  she  can  do  well." 

In  writing  to  Mr.  Murray  she  says : 

I  much  wish  to  see  what  Nature  says  about  the 
Ainos.  I  am  pleased  that  careful  and  honest  work  is 
being  appreciated. 

And  again  : 

Thank  you  for  sending  me  The  Contemporary  Review. 
I  value  Sir  R.  Alcock's  favourable  opinion  of  my  book 
more  than  any  other,  and  especially  his  high  estimate 
of  my  concluding  chapter,  which  cost  me  a  good  deal 
of  hard  work,  and  was  rewritten  three  times.  ...  I 
am  pleased  with  what  may  be  regarded  as  a  triumph 
for  a  lady  traveller,  and  more  highly  respect  your 
judgment  in  deciding  that  Sir  E.  Reid's  book  would 
not  crush  mine,  as  I  certainly  feared  it  would. 
Hitherto  not  one  critic  has  attached  less  weight  to  my 
opinions  on  the  ground  of  their  being  those  of  a 

i4o  "THE   BLESSED  ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

Her  interest  in  this  book  may  still  be  shared  by  us. 
Japan  has  leapt  from  rung  to  rung  of  the  ladder  of 
national  greatness,  and  promises  to  be  as  leaven  to 
the  whole  East,  rousing,  vitalising,  developing  what 
has  lain  in  the  valley  of  dry  bones  for  many  centuries. 
For  in  that  island  race  there  glowed  living  brain  and 
eager  spirit,  and  who  shall  foretell  the  issue  ?  Now, 
China  responds  to  her  call,  and  India's  foremost 
minds  rejoice;  and  the  West  recoils  already  before 
the  prowess  it  inspired.  On  her  deathbed  Mrs.  Bishop 
watched  the  conflict  with  amazement  and  foreboding, 
incredulous  of  the  smiting  of  Goliath  to  the  ground, 
for  to  her  Japan  was  a  "  little  nation,"  and  its  Western 
garb  clung  crudely  to  its  Eastern  form,  as  the  armour 
of  his  warrior  brother  to  David.  She  died  too  soon  to 
realise  how  mighty  was  the  rebirth,  how  astonishing 
the  spirit  breathed  into  the  nostrils  of  Japan,  how 
quickly^its  form  responded  to  the  spirit.  She  had 
seen  the  country  half  awake,  its  remoter  parts  still 
dormant,  and  she  .feared  that  the  colossal  foe  must 

But  just  because  she  gives  so  candid  and  so  literal 
an  account  of  the  country  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago, 
her  book  has  the  value  of  accurate  history,  and  cannot 
be  excluded  from  the  reference  books  of  a  conscien- 
tious student  of  the  Oriental  revival.  A  few  months 
ago,  on  board  a  steamer  between  Japan  and  Korea, 
an  Englishman  asked  a  Japanese  fellow  passenger 
what  modern  book  would  give  him  the  best  idea  of 
Japan.  "  Bird's  Japan  is  the  most  valuable,"  was  the 
answer — u  it  describes  the  interior  better  than  any 
more  recently  written."  And  that  is  just  its  great 
merit  still.  Towns,  villages,  watering-places,  rivers, 
mountains,  valleys,  roads,  tea-houses,  inns,  industries, 
schools,  and  family  life,  as  these  were  in  1879 — as  they 

1880]      ENGAGEMENT  TO  DR.   BISHOP         141 

are  in  some  districts  still— are  unflinchingly  photo- 
graphed on  the  spot,  in  vigorous  word-pictures,  by 
that  keen  and  unrelenting  observation.  She  admired 
much,  she  censured  much,  and  in  what  country  can 
a  candid  and  observant  traveller  do  otherwise  ? 

Miss  Bird  was  working  hard  for  Henrietta's  poor, 
and  growing  to  like  Tobermory  better  than  she  had 
done  before,  so  that  she  felt  regret  at  leaving  The 
Cottage  on  December  16,  although  she  fully  realised 
the  disadvantages  of  the  situation,  and  wrote  to 
Mr.  Murray  : 

The  great  drawback  of  Mull  in  the  winter  is  the 
irregular  and  often  suspended  post,  as,  for  instance, 
there  have  been  two  days  within  a  week  in  which  the 
post-boat  has  been  unable  to  cross,  and  almost  always 
when  that  occurs  the  gale  has  been  severe  enough  to 
prostrate  a  number  of  the  Mull  telegraph  poles.  Thus, 
amidst  howling  storms,  without  letters,  newspapers, 
or  telegraph  possibilities,  the  isolation  is  very  trying ; 
but  my  nerves  are  so  shattered  that  I  need  complete 
rest,  and  that  I  have  here,  with  a  sufficient  amount  of 
human  interest  to  make  the  endurance  of  solitude 
wholesome.  The  Highlanders  have  some  very  charm- 
ing qualities,  but  in  cunning,  moral  timidity,  and 
plausibility  they  remind  me  of  savages  of  rather  a 
low  type. 

She  stayed  a  fortnight  with  Miss  Clayton  and 
the  Miss  Kers  at  28  Rutland  Square,  in  Edinburgh, 
before  going  farther  south. 

The  consoling  influence  of  Dr.  Bishop's  devoted 
love  was  reaching  her  heart  at  last.  Her  engagement 
to  him  took  place  early  in  December.  He  had  passed 
through  the  furnace  of  her  affliction  with  her,  and 
only  he  knew  what  those  last  sacred  scenes  had  been 
in  May.  It  had  long  been  Henrietta's  wish  that  her 
sister  should  accept  his  unselfish  love ;  but  had  she 
lived,  Isabella  would  probably  have  continued  to 

142  "THE   BLESSED   ONE"  [CHAP,  vi 

refuse  him.  Her  letters  of  December  indicate  the 
growth  of  her  deep  and  almost  reverent  regard  for  his 
exquisite  character.  She  wrote  to  Lady  Middleton  : 

I  earnestly  pray  that  I  may  be  able  to  return  in 
some  degree  the  most  unique,  self-sacrificing,  utterly 
devoted  love  that  I  have  ever  seen,  and  that  I  may 
find  calm,  and  he  happiness,  while  my  life  lasts. 

And  in  a  later  letter  she  continues  : 

I  have  accepted  the  faithful  love  which  has  for  so 
long  been  mine,  and  which  asks  for  nothing  but 
that  when  the  final  parting  comes  I  may  be  able 
to  say  "  you  have  made  me  less  miserable."  Ah  ! 
but  I  hope  it  may  be  more  than  this,  and  that  a  love 
so  unselfish,  though  it  cannot  heal  the  grief,  or  fill 
the  vacancy,  may  as  time  goes  on  soothe  and  comfort, 
that  he  may  be  happy  and  that  I  may  know  at  least 
a  thankful  rest.  Our  marriage  is  to  be  in  England 
in  early  March. 

Dr.  Bishop  was  a  welcome  guest  at  28  Rutland 
Square,  where  all  knew  and  loved  him,  and  he  spent 
his  evenings  there,  reading  aloud  to  them  Whittier's 
Poems  during  those  weeks  in  December. 

Miss  Bird  went  south  in  January  to  visit  relatives 
and  to  make  arrangements  for  her  marriage.  Her 
cousin,  Major  Wilberforce  Bird,  suggested  that  it 
should  take  place  at  Barton  House,  the  old  family 
home  in  Warwickshire. 



DR.  JOHN  BISHOP  was  born  in  Sheffield  in  1841,  and 
came  to  Edinburgh  at  the  age  of  twenty-five,  to 
complete  the  study  of  medicine,  which  he  had  begun 
in  England.  After  taking  his  degree  he  acted  as 
Professor  Lister's  house  surgeon  and  subsequently 
had  charge  of  Dr.  Matthews  Duncan's,  Dr.  Keith's, 
and  Dr.  Grainger  Stewart's  wards.  In  May,  1872, 
he  began  to  practise  as  physician  and  surgeon  in 
Edinburgh,  and  was  soon  a  favourite  amongst  his 
patients,  who  belonged  to  the  more  intellectual  class 
of  that  generation.  He  made  valuable  contributions 
to  various  medical  dictionaries  and  reviews  in  the 
first  years  of  his  general  practice.  From  its  com- 
mencement he  attended  Henrietta  Bird,  introduced 
by  his  friend  Dr.  Murray  Mitchell.  His  study  of 
histological  botany  first  attracted  Isabella  Bird's 
interest  towards  him,  and  they  worked  together, 
using  the  microscope  for  practical  research.  Then 
his  admirable  treatment  of  her  sister  called  out  her 
gratitude  and  recognition  of  his  medical  skill,  and 
this  was  endorsed  by  the  favourable  opinions  of  his 
worth  both  as  a  doctor  and  a  man  held  by  Edinburgh's 
best  surgeons  and  professors. 

Professional   deepened  into   friendly  relations,  his 
ardent  intellectual  sympathies  were  attracted  and  held 



by  Isabella's  astonishing  mental  power,  and  her  many 
delightful  gifts. 

It  was  not  wonderful  that,  unconsciously  to  herself, 
she  should  soon  become  enshrined  in  the  temple  of 
his  heart.  His  was  a  nature  of  a  rare  simplicity 
and  purity ;  and  upon  the  writer,  who  knew  and 
partially  understood  him,  the  impression  made  was 
that  of  a  man  whose  thoughts  were  not  so  much 
unworldly  as  crystal-clear  from  the  source  of  thought, 
penetrated  by  its  knowledge,  shaped  by  its  wisdom, 
made  tender  by  its  vast  charity.  He  was  gifted  with 
an  absolute  selflessness,  for  ever  going  out  towards 
suffering  with  a  keen  desire  to  bear  it  for  others. 
This  quality,  which  the  word  chivalry  but  feebly 
expresses,  is  the  birth-mark  of  the  saviour,  wherever 
he  is  found,  and  it  ruled  his  impulses  as  inevitably  as 
the  rhythmic  beat  of  life  his  body.  Few  noticed  this 
grace  of  character,  but  it  was  his  soul's  breath  and 
by  it  he  lived. 

Isabella  was  conscious  of  all  this,  and  part  of 
her  nature  turned  to  him  for  the  help  it  needed, 
only  part  at  first,  although  she  was  soon  to  awake 
wholly  to  the  forceful  spirituality  of  the  man,  who 
stayed  so  short  a  time  at  her  side,  but  left  her  a 
changed  woman,  who  had  caught — 

A  new  light  thrown  on  things, 
Contagion  from  the  magnanimity 
O'  the  man  whose  life  lay  on  his  hand  so  light, 
As  up  he  stepped,  pursuing  duty  still 
"Higher  and  harder,"  as  he  laughed  and  said. 

Before  her  marriage  she  avoided  discussion  of 
her  motives,  but  her  friend  Mr.  Dunlop  asked  her 
playfully  if  it  were  possible  that  one  so  filled  as  she 
was  with  high  purposes  could  be  so  prosaic  and  like 
other  people.  Pausing  a  moment,  she  answered 

i88i]  JUST   BEFORE  MARRIAGE  145 

gently,  "  I  trust  that  I  am  too  full  of  human  sympathy 
to  be  quite  impervious  to  these  impressions." 

She  was  working  intermittently  during  the  latter 
half  of  January,  1881,  and  completed  an  able  analytical 
sketch  of  Dr.  Candlish  for  the  March  number  of 
The  Catholic  Presbyterian  Magazine.  It  was  suggested 
by  Dr.  Wilson's  Life  of  Robert  S.  Candlish,  just  then 
published  by  Messrs.  A.  &  C.  Black,  but  was  rather 
an  estimate  of  the  man  as  she  had  known  and  admired 
him  than  a  review  of  his  biography.  Both  she  and 
her  sister  often  went  to  hear  the  old  Disruption  hero, 
orator,  and  divine,  whose  good  qualities  they  both 
appreciated.  Miss  Bird's  article  is  singularly  well 
informed  and  clear-sighted,  penetrating  beyond  the 
outer  man  into  the  deep-hearted  preacher,  pastor, 
and  scholar,  and  expressing  his  value  as  a  combative 
debater  and  church-leader. 

It  was  good  for  her  to  be  plunged  into  this  some- 
what difficult  mental  exercise  during  her  stay  in 
England,  where  she  spent  some  weeks  before  her 
marriage,  one  of  them  with  Lord  and  Lady  Middleton 
in  South  Street,  Mayfair.  One  afternoon  she  came 
in  at  tea-time  wearing  a  moderately  thick  jacket.  The 
weather  was  bitterly  cold  and  the  frozen  streets  made 
traffic  almost  impossible. 

I  asked  her  [writes  Lady  Middleton]  to  take  off  her 
jacket  in  the  warm  room,  but  she  refused  and,  when 
I  pressed,  said  laughingly,  "  I  have  no  other  bodice." 
I  once  asked  a  doctor  about  this,  and  he  said,  "Such 
power  of  bearing  cold  means  a  physically  large  heart." 
The  late  Queen  Victoria  was  another  to  whom  cold 
mattered  little  for  the  same  cause.  At  that  very  tea 
she  stated  her  intention  of  being  married  in  her  deep 
mourning;  my  Scotch  superstition  rebelled  and  we 
had  an  argument,  but  she  held  to  her  intention.  I 
confess  I  felt  a  little  sorry  for  the  then  to  me  unknown 
fiance,  for  I  believed  she  was  marrying  him,  as  it  were, 


146  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

under  protest.  But  she  came  to  love  him  truly  after- 
wards, as  her  letters  prove.  Her  real  self  was  buried 
then  in  her  sister's  grave. 

Miss  Bird's  marriage  took  place  on  March  8,  1881, 
at  the  little  church  of  St.  Lawrence,  Barton-on-the- 
Heath,  in  Warwickshire,  her  cousin,  Major  Wilberforce 
Bird,  giving  her  away.  The  rector  of  the  parish,  the 
Rev.  Arthur  Nettleship,  and  the  Rev.  the  Hon.  Walter 
R.  Verney,  whose  wife  was  Major  Bird's  daughter, 
performed  the  ceremony.  The  bride  was  in  deep 
mourning  and  there  were  no  wedding  guests.  It  was 
peace  she  sought,  not  joy,  and  the  little  group  round 
the  altar  that  day  harmonised  with  the  old  ancestral 
tombs  and  tablets  on  the  walls  rather  than  with 
the  marriage  bells  that  pealed  as  they  left  for  Barton 

Mrs.  Bishop  described  her  husband  to  Lady  Middleton 
in  a  letter  written  soon  afterwards  : 

He  is  about,  or  a  little  under  the  middle  height, 
very  plain,  wears  spectacles  and  is  very  grey,  but  his 
face  is  redeemed  by  eyes  which  Sir  Noel  Paton  says 
are  "  beautiful  from  their  purity,"  and  a  high,  broad, 
intellectual  brow.  He  is  very  intellectual  and  studious, 
very  receptive  and  appreciative  intellectually,  and  very 
able,  much  cultured,  with  very  artistic  tastes,  but  no 
artistic  facility,  passionately  fond  of  nature,  very 
diffident,  not  calculated  to  shine  socially,  or  to  pro- 
duce a  favourable  impression  at  first \  with  a  simple, 
truthful,  loyal,  unselfish  nature  and  unfathomable 
depths  of  love  and  devotion.  A  character  of  truer, 
simpler  worth  could  not  be  found. 

If  the  "spark  from  heaven"  had  not  yet  kindled 
her  heart  towards  John  Bishop,  she  reverenced  and 
admired  him  more  than  she  did  any  man  living ;  and  if 
we  remember  that  she  was  in  her  fiftieth  year  when  she 
married,  we  can  hardly  wonder  that  the  dreamy  rapture 
of  romantic  love  was  absent  from  her  heart,  though 


From  a  sketch  by  herself. 

l88i]  DEPRESSION  147 

it  was  replaced  by  absolute  trust  and  sincere  affection. 
Indeed,  she  still  kept  the  "  cruel  fellowship  of  sorrow," 
was  still  "  drunk  with  loss."  When  she  returned  to 
Edinburgh  with  her  husband,  her  first  preoccupation 
was  her  grief  and  loneliness. 

It  would  have  been  wiser  [she  wrote  to  Lady 
Middleton]  to  have  broken  away  altogether  from  the 
old  life  and  circumstances  rather  than  to  attempt  to 
gather  up  their  fragments.  She  was  my  world]  I 
ventured  all  that  I  had  to  give  upon  her  life,  and 
exhausted  my  power  of  absorbing  love  upon  her. 
She  was  the  inspiration  of  anything  worth  doing  that 
I  ever  did,  and  I  am  now  reaching  despairingly  after 
the  life  that  she  lives  away  from  me. 

Dr.  Bishop,  with  tender  consideration  for  this  mood, 
suggested  to  her  a  fortnight's  change  at  The  Cottage, 
and,  in  spite  of  the  pain  of  every  revived  memory,  it 
did  her  good.  The  barren  wilderness  of  modern 
Edinburgh  society,  into  which  her  return  almost 
forcibly  projected  her,  with  its  sterile  talk,  its 
curiosity,  and  its  dull  range  of  personal  interests, 
had  much  to  do  with  her  depression — for  she  felt 
less  overwhelmed  at  Tobermory,  where  "  Nature  was 
the  same  and  her  changelessness  so  soothing." 

She  needed  solitude  again  and  again — cave,  cot,  or 
cell — the  place  where  her  mind  could  recover  from 
the  fretful,  arid,  thriftless  energising  of  conventionality. 

A  tender  little  note  to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid  belongs 
to  this  stay  at  The  Cottage : 

I  feel  that  many  days  would  not  exhaust  what  you 
could  tell  me  about  her.  What  you  told  me  at  her 
grave  comforts  me  ;  but  she  could  not  know  what  her 
loss  would  be,  or  how  I  loved  her,  or  how  all  my  days 
would  be  darkened,  because  she  "is  not."  It  was  a 
mercy  that  she  did  not  know  that  she  was  going,  for  I 
think  she  would  have  mourned  so  much  over  what  her 
loss  would  be  to  others. 

148  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

On  her  return  to  Edinburgh  the  occupations  in- 
cident to  her  settling  down  in  a  place  where  she 
had  already  an  almost  unmanageable  circle  of  ac- 
quaintances filled  every  day.  Dr.  Bishop  had  taken 
12  Walker  Street  as  their  home,  and  part  of  the  old 
furniture,  which  she  had  stored  after  leaving  3  Castle 
Terrace,  was  used  for  the  bedrooms  and  for  Mrs. 
Bishop's  own  writing-room.  The  drawing-room  was 
beautiful,  and  had  the  charm  of  originality,  for  her 
bronzes  and  embroideries  gave  it  an  Oriental  char- 
acter, sustained  by  Eastern  cabinets  and  the  palms 
which  stood  in  the  daimio's  bath.  Her  rare  lacquer, 
Satsuma  and  Nagasaki  china,  and  antique  bronzes  were 
very  different  from  the  cheap  ware  in  these  materials 
which  flooded  the  market  to  gratify  a  momentary 
caprice.  A  pair  of  the  bronzes  represented  two 
mythical  heroes  of  Japan — twins,  like  Castor  and 
Pollux,  but,  unlike  the  Roman  brethren,  rogues  and 
vagabonds  of  the  worst  description,  who  lived  by 
the  abnormal  length  of  legs  possessed  by  one  and 
of  arms  possessed  by  the  other.  The  long-legged 
brother  forded  rivers  and  climbed  mountains  with 
the  dwarf  upon  his  shoulders,  and  the  latter  looked 
into  all  the  houses  which  they  passed,  stretched  out 
his  telescopic  arms  and  abstracted  food,  sake,  vessels, 
and  clothing  as  they  required.  These  bronzes  were 
candlesticks,  and  Japanese  humorists  had  modelled 
exquisite  lotus-blossoms  to  receive  the  candles — a 
flower  which,  in  their  symbolism,  is  the  emblem  of 
righteousness — just  as  if  the  scamps  were  pressing 
upwards  to  attain  it. 

The  lease  of  Henrietta's  cottage  in  Tobermory 
having  nearly  expired,  Dr.  Bishop  decided  to  renew 
it,  as  the  Highland  home  served  as  a  retreat  where 
Isabella  could  rest,  write,  garden,  and  visit  her 

i88i]  IN  THE  COTTAGE  149 

sister's  poor.  He  had  promised  her  that,  when 
the  need  of  travel  awoke,  she  should  go  to  what- 
ever end  of  the  earth  beckoned  to  her,  and  he 
used  to  say,  "  I  have  only  one  formidable  rival 
in  Isabella's  heart,  and  that  is  the  high  tableland  of 
Central  Asia."  But  during  the  few  and  anxious 
years  of  her  married  life  she  never  left  him  except 
for  a  short  resting-space.  A  letter  to  Mrs.  Greaves 
Bagshawe,  written  during  the  few  weeks  spent  at 
Tobermory  in  1881,  gives  a  picture  of  her  in  The 
Cottage : 

I  am  sitting  in  the  low  foldings-chair  that  you  gave 
me,  in  the  sweet  sitting-room  in  the  house  which 
she  created,  and  which  is  consecrated  by  lovely 
memories  of  her  lovely  life  and  serene  happiness. 
God  only  knows  what  it  is  to  sit  here  alone,  and  yet 
the  very  anguish,  because  it  is  so  full  ofiher,  is  dearer 
to  me  than  all  else.  ...  I  try  to  carry  out  her  wishes 
here  and  elsewhere  as  much  as  I  can,  but  all  that  I  can 
dp  is  so  poor  and  shadowy  compared  with  what  she 
did.  Here  her  interests  have  become  mine,  and  I  am 
devotedly  attached  to  the  place  and  people.  We  are 
just  renewing  the  lease  of  The  Cottage.  It  is  a  shrine, 
but  a  pivot  also.  If  we  gave  it  up,  I  could  not  in  any 
way  carry  out  her  work,  for  which  personal  know- 
ledge and  sympathies  are  so  largely  needed.  My 
husband  is  considerate,  devoted,  and  unselfish  beyond 
anything  I  have  ever  seen.  His  love  is  truly  won- 
derful. For  him  I  regret  the  incurable  nature  of  my 
grief,  though  he  asks  nothing  but  to  be  allowed  to  try 
to  soothe  it.  My  book  on  Japan  is  being  translated 
into  German  for  publication  at  Jena  in  October.  It  is 
in  a  fourth  edition,  both  here  and  in  America.  I  have 
written  nothing  this  year  but  a  sketch  (analytical)  of 
the  character  of  Dr.  Candlish.  I  hope  after  a  time 
that  I  may  be  able  to  write  again,  as  I  have  much  left 
to  say,  but  Dr.  Stewart  lately  enjoined  rest  for  four 

Early    in     September,     Kalakaua,    the     King     of 
Hawaii-nei,  arrived  in  Edinburgh,  where  he  was  the 


guest  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Macfie,  of  Dreghorn  Castle. 
After  being  present  at  a  grand  conclave  of  the  Knights 
of  the  Red  Cross  of  Constantine,  he  lunched  with 
his  old  friend  Mrs.  Bishop  and  her  husband  at 
12  Walker  Street,  and  there  conferred  on  her  the 
Hawaiian  Literary  Order  of  Kapiolani.  She  wrote 
to  Mr.  Macfie  prior  to  the  king's  arrival : 

He  is  a  very  unassuming  man,  who  would  be 
pleased  with  the  humblest  lodging,  and  will  be 
delighted  with  Dreghorn.  I  think  it  would  be  both 
fitting  and  kind  if  you  offered  him  hospitality  during 
his  stay,  and  Dr.  Bishop  and  I  would  have  great 
pleasure  in  being  your  guests. 

Another  incident  of  the  month  was  Queen  Victoria's 
visit  to  the  Infirmary,  where  Mrs.  Bishop  had  the 
privilege  of  seeing  her.  "  She  looked  radiant  and 
noble,  and  so  very  well  and  young  for  her  years." 

Dr.  Bishop  snatched  a  brief  holiday  late  in 
September;  and  after  visits  near  the  highest  part  of 
the  Peak,  and  to  Peterborough,  he  wrote  from  The 
Elms,  Houghton  : 

Here  we  have  had  a  time  of  rest  and  brightness 
all  too  short.  Isabella  showed  me  Cromwell's  school, 
Cowper's  house,  the  church  of  which  Cromwell's 
father  was  a  churchwarden,  and  we  have  made 
pilgrimages  to  the  lovely  home  of  her  father's  later 
ministry.  Yesterday  she  rowed  me  on  the  Ouse 
past  the  rectory,  to  Hartford  Church,  with  its  one 
set  of  arches  Norman,  the  opposite  ones  very  early 
English.  Your  heart  will  tell  you  how  delighful  all 
this  is  to  me,  and  how  full  of  pathos  and  tenderest 
interest  to  both  of  us. 

When  they  returned,  Dr.  Bishop  sent  his  wife  for 
a  few  days  to  Tobermory,  where  she  caught  a  chill 
by  helping  to  put  out  a  fire  which  threatened  The 
Cottage  in  the  middle  of  a  bitterly  cold  night. 

i88i]  DR.  BISHOPS  ILLNESS  151 

Immediately  afterwards  she  was  summoned  to 
Edinburgh  by  the  illness  of  her  husband— an  illness 
which  was  to  overshadow,  with  but  few  brief  intervals, 
the  whole  of  her  married  life. 

On  Sunday  night  [she  wrote  to  Lady  Middleton 
early  in  November]  it  came  on  to  blow  a  full  gale 
from  the  S.E.  On  Monday  morning,  just  after  the 
daily  steamer  had  left,  came  a  telegram  from  two 
doctors  saying  that  my  husband  was  ill  and  asking 
me  to  come  at  once.  I  offered  £100  to  any  boatman 
who  would  get  me  to  Oban  for  the  night  train,  but 
the  answer  was  that  if  it  could  be  done  they  would 
do  it  for  love,  and  indeed  the  Sound  was  yeasty  with 
foam  and  smoking  with  spindrift.  Four  telegrams 
arrived  that  miserable  day — twenty-three  hours  of 
helpless  waiting.  I  left  on  Tuesday  morning,  but 
the  train  stuck  twice  in  the  snow,  and  I  did  not  arrive 
till  late,  but  found  him  better.  He  had  a  severe 
relapse  on  Wednesday  evening,  and  a  tendency  to 
failure  of  the  heart  on  Thursday  morning,  but  since 
then  has  been  improving  steadily.  He  performed  an 
operation  on  a  foreign  sailor  in  the  erysipelas  ward 
01  the  fever  hospital  on  Friday,  having,  they  tell  me, 
a  slight  scratch  on  his  face,  and  came  back  with 
shiverings  and  sickness.  Every  organ  except  the 
brain  has  been  affected ;  the  eyes  and  back  of  the 
head  were  exceedingly  bad.  Such  angelic  quiescence, 
sweetness,  and  unselfishness  I  have  only  seen  once 
before.  The  servants  said  they  thought  he  would 
not  get  better  because  he  was  so  good !  I  now  think 
that  his  recovery  will  be  rapid,  although  he  is  not 
out  of  bed  yet. 

When  he  was  able  to  travel  they  went  to  Seaton 
Carew  Vicarage  to  visit  the  Lawsons,  and  thence, 
on  November  24,  to  Birdsall  House.  It  was  during 
this  visit  that  the  inventor  of  a  new  side-saddle, 
low  and  level,  sent  Mrs.  Bishop  a  specimen  in 
deference  to  her  prowess  as  a  horsewoman.  Lady 
Middleton  remembers  how  "  she  insisted  on  having 
it  put  on  a  mettlesome,  high-bred,  sixteen  hands 


hunter,  and  climbed  up  to  try  the  seat,  but  it  was  an 
effort,  and  rather  alarmed  me  and  the  horse,  who 
never  quite  forgot  it  when  mounted  in  future." 

To  accompany  her  husband  on  Saturdays  she  was 
breaking  herself  into  "  elderly  rides  "  on  a  side-saddle, 
but  felt  "  a  crippled  fool "  all  the  time. 

This  long  visit  did  both  invalids  good. 

I  think  [wrote  Mrs.  Bishop  after  their  return  to  Edin- 
burgh], in  his  secret  heart,  he  has  always  associated 
grace  and  charm  with  the  cloven  hoof,  and  I  watched 
silently  and  with  amusement  the  struggle  going  on 
in  his  mind  and  his  complete  surrender.  To-day  he 
said:  "I  am  thinking  of  Lady  Middleton.  What  a 
wonderful  influence  she  must  have !  She's  unearthly." 

Early  in  1882,  while  Dr.  Bishop  recovered  sufficiently 
to  resume  both  his  practice  and  his  Infirmary  work, 
Mrs.  Bishop  was  seriously  ill  and  in  continuous  pain 
from  a  succession  of  carbuncles,  which  formed  close 
to  her  spine  and  just  where  the  operation  for  fibrous 
tumour  had  been  performed  in  her  girlhood.  During 
the  following  weeks  she  was  practically  an  invalid ; 
and  being  in  Edinburgh  for  a  short  period,  I  spent 
many  hours  with  her  and  made  her  husband's 
acquaintance.  I  recollect  his  keen  enjoyment  in  being 
read  to  aloud,  and  in  his  first  introduction  to  Robert 
Browning's  poems,  which  he  demanded  every  evening. 
Four  afternoon  parties  were  given  in  February,  forty 
guests  at  each,  chiefly  to  show  the  Polynesian  and 
Japanese  curios,  the  former  of  which  attracted  special 
notice  because  of  King  Kalakaua's  recent  visit.  This 
indeed  had  reawakened  public  interest  in  the  Sand- 
wich Islands,  and  a  whole  new  edition  of  her  book  was 
sold  during  this  winter.  The  volumes  on  Japan  had 
also  achieved  a  marked  success  and  yielded  a  very 
satisfactory  return  of  profits,  so  that  she  wrote  with 

i882]  VISITORS  153 

warmth,  "  I,  at  all  events,  have  no  cause  to  complain 
of  my  publishers." 

In  March  Bishop  Burdon  and  Mrs.  Burdon  arrived 
from  South  China  and  stayed  a  fortnight  with  Dr.  and 
Mrs.  Bishop,  who  planned  medical  missionary  drawing- 
room  meetings  and  breakfasts  for  them  and  helped  them 
to  carry  through  their  plans.  The  cause  of  medical 
missions  was  strongly  advocated  by  Dr.  Bishop,  and 
he  spared  no  trouble  to  prosper  it,  being  convinced 
that  it  was  based  upon  sound  principles  and  had  been 
adopted  by  Christ  Himself,  not  only  in  His  personal 
ministry,  but  in  His  instructions  to  those  of  His  dis- 
ciples whom  He  commissioned  to  teach  His  Gospel 
and  whom  He  qualified  with  healing  power. 

When  April  came,  the  anxieties  and  strain  of  winter 
had  reduced  Mrs.  Bishop  to  prostration,  and  she  fled 
for  a  week  to  Tobermory,  taking  with  her  a  traveller's 
store  of  provisions  and  cooking-pans,  for  her  Cottage 
housekeeper  was  very  ill  and  she  did  not  wish  to 
supplant  her  with  a  stranger.  Mrs.  Macdonald  and 
her  daughter  came  to  the  rescue  and  helped  her 
daily.  The  weather  was  glorious,  though  snow 
crowned  the  hills,  so  she  could  walk  a  little  and  visit 
ill  her  Tobermory  friends,  and  she  was  somewhat 

>ted  by  the  i8th,  when  she  returned  to  Edinburgh, 
let  at  Falkirk  by  Dr.  Bishop.  The  very  next  day 
found  her  entertaining  forty-six  people  at  afternoon 
tea,  and  till  May  6  she  was  engulfed  in  the  usual 
Edinburgh  vortex. 

During  her  absence,  Dr.  Bishop  dined  every 
evening  with  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie.  He  had 
strongly  advised  Professor  Blackie  to  give  up  his 
chair  of  Greek  in  Edinburgh  University,  as  acute 
illness  of  some  duration  that  spring  pointed  towards 
resignation,  and  the  wise  old  Scot  accepted  his 


physician's  dictum  with  cheerfulness.  Every  evening 
after  dinner  some  favourite  poem  of  Robert 
Browning's  was  read ;  but  in  spite  of  anxious  efforts 
to  appreciate  it,  Dr.  Bishop  could  not  reach  the  level 
of  enthusiasm  demanded  by  the  reader.  Mrs.  Bishop 
wrote  to  Mrs.  Blackie  about  the  Professor's  resignation: 

After  it  appeared  in  the  papers,  John  showed  me 
his  letter  to  him,  which  I  thought  wise,  wholesome, 
and  beautiful.  I  trust  you  will  be  greatly  relieved 
by  this  decision.  You  made  my  husband  so  happy 
at  your  home.  With  his  loving  and  grateful  nature 
you  have  made  him  your  slave  for  life.  It  was  a 
most  kind  thought,  and  it  was  such  a  relief  to  me 
to  think  that  he  was  being  cared  for.  I  am  doing 
some  literary  work,  but  the  glow  has  faded  from  it, 
as  from  all  else  except  nature,  which  I  love  more 
than  ever  since  my  darling  died.  She,  as  I  always 
told  her,  was  my  inspiration.  I  work  listlessly  and 
wearily  now  and  care  nothing  either  for  fame  or 

The  "  literary  work  "  was  her  notes  of  the  Malay 
Peninsula.  These  were  in  the  accustomed  form 
of  letters  to  her  sister,  to  whose  "  Beloved  Memory" 
the  book  was  eventually  dedicated.  Perhaps  her 
health  was  more  accountable  for  her  listlessness 
and  weariness  than  her  loss,  but  she  had  allowed 
herself  to  be  captured  by  a  morbid  obsession  regarding 
that  loss  which  the  special  character  of  her  ailments 
fostered.  This  morbid  strain  exaggerated  her  personal 
moods.  When  she  conquered  its  influence  and  went 
out  in  large  sympathy  towards  others,  she  was  clear- 
headed, wise  and  practical.  Happily,  she  was 
normally  conscious  of  this  entanglement  of  physio- 
logical with  emotional  depression  and  could  combat 
it,  but  after  exhausting  work,  illness,  or  grief  she 
yielded  to  its  recurrence. 

On  May  6  Dr.  and  Mrs.   Bishop  went  to  London, 

i882]          THE  GOLDEN  CHERSONESE          155 

where  they  spent  ten  days  together,  he  returning 
to  his  work  on  the  i5th,  when  she  crossed  the 
Channel,  halted  at  Paris  to  hear  two  addresses,  and 
took  the  night  train  to  Turin  on  the  i8th.  Miss 
Clayton  and  her  friends  were  at  Cadenabbia,  where 
Mrs.  Bishop  joined  them  on  the  2oth.  From  that 
date  till  July  8  she  was  at  the  Italian  Lakes  and 
in  Switzerland  and  Tyrol,  but  the  only  mention  of 
her  travels,  except  the  barest  diary  jottings,  occurs 
in  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Blackie,  dated  August  5  : 

Switzerland  was  very  nice,  but  I  don't  like  the  Swiss, 
and,  after  the  frank,  genial  manners  of  the  people  of 
Northern  Italy,  I  found  them  specially  ungracious. 
The  most  delightful  place  we  were  at  was  Soglio,  high 
up  above  the  chestnut  woods  of  the  lovely  Val 
Bregaglia,  where  we  lived  in  an  old  palace  of  the  de 
Salis,  built  in  1538,  and  with  furniture  of  the  sixteenth 
century,  looking  across  to  the  glaciers  and  snow-fields 
of  the  Val  Bendasca.  That  was  the  kind  of  place  that 
I  like. 

On  returning  to  London  in  July,  she  found  a  "  mild 
ovation "  awaiting  her,  and  many  invitations.  She 
visited  Mr.  Murray  several  times,  one  of  the  occasions 
being  an  evening  party  of  a  hundred  and  twenty 
people,  including  Miss  Gordon  Cumming,  Miss  North, 

id  other  famous  travellers — "very  pleasant,"  she 
:omments.  On  July  18  she  went  home,  Dr.  Bishop 
meeting  her  at  Galashiels. 

During  all  these  summer  weeks  she  had  been  busy 
with  The  Golden  Chersonese,  and  complained  even  in 
Switzerland  of  the  listlessness  which  dogged  her 
efforts  at  work.  Traces  of  this  are  indeed  observable 
in  the  volume,  but  perhaps  the  subject  was  scarcely 
so  inspiring  as  those  of  her  earlier  books.  The  Golden 
Chersonese  is  far  more  valuable  from  a  practical  than 
from  a  literary  point  of  view,  and  a  brief  five  weeks 

156  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

full  of  discomforts  and  dangers,  in  a  land  where  she 
had  no  opportunity  of  becoming  acquainted  with  the 
people,  and  where  therefore  her  experiences  were 
amongst  the  residents  and  their  entourage,  did  not 
provide  her  pen  with  that  panoramic  variety  which 
made  Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan  so  delightful.  She 
was,  in  fact,  driven  to  study  up  the  subject  from  both 
standard  and  official  sources  of  information,  and  to 
work  in,  with  her  adventures,  a  number  of  admirable 
chapters  devoted  to  the  history,  geography,  and 
economic  features  of  the  little-known  peninsula. 
These,  as  she  tells  us  in  a  footnote  to  the  preface, 
were  based  upon  annual  reports  and  upon  the  two 
main  authorities  for  the  Malayan  Peninsula. 

Professor  Blackie  was  that  autumn  preparing  his 
Wisdom  of  Goethe,  of  whom  and  of  the  Professor  she 
wrote  on  August  6: 

Professor  Blackie  lunched  with  me  lately,  looking 
very  well  and  in  great  spirits.  He  is  at  present 
pounding  Goethe  into  people  as  a  pattern  of  moral 
excellence.  I  have  no  admiration  for  an  exclusively 
artistic  nature  which  deliberately  puts  sorrow,  suffering, 
and  evil  out  of  its  picture  of  life,  because  they  won't 
"  compose,"  and  at  the  best  this  was  Goethe's  nature. 
At  the  worst,  perhaps  "  Rab "  was  not  far  wrong 
when  he  epitomised  Goethe's  Life  by  Lewes  as  "  a 
beast  writing  the  life  of  a  beast."  I  wish  that  Professor 
Blackie,  one  of  the  whitest  souls  among  men,  would 
not  be  so  tempestuous  in  his  defence  of  Goethe's 
morals  and  views  on  morals. 

Nor  did  she  express  her  opinion  less  explicitly  to 
the  Professor  himself,  when  she  wrote  after  the 
appearance  of  his  volume  of  extracts : 

Goethe  is  always  fascinating,  and  you  make  him 
still  more  so,  but  personally,  the  preponderance  of  the 
purely  artistic  element  in  his  nature  repels  me.  When 

i882]    DR.   BISHOPS   RENEWED   ILLNESS     157 

I  admire  him,  it  is  with  an  intellectual  appreciation  of 
the  vigour,  brilliancy,  culture,  and  many-sidedness 
of  his  intellect,  but  I  am  not  in  sympathy  with  his 

She  had  derived  considerable  benefit  from  Switzer- 
land, so  we  find  her  energetically  busy  during  the 
rest  of  summer  with  work,  hospitality,  and  tricycling, 
and  there  is  not  a  single  allusion  to  her  own  health 
either  in  letters  or  diary.  On  August  23  she  went 
to  Tobermory  for  a  month,  and  this  improvement 
lasted  and  enabled  her  to  go  daily  amongst  her 
neighbours — amongst  whom  were  Bishop  Burdon  and 
his  wife — to  entertain  them  constantly  at  The  Cottage, 
to  work  in  her  little  garden,  to  row  herself  across 
the  bay  to  Aros  House,  and  to  spend  her  mornings 
and  evenings  at  her  Golden  Chersonese. 

When  she  returned  to  Edinburgh  late  in  September 
she  found  her  husband  far  from  well.  They  had 
hoped  to  spend  his  holiday  together  at  Ford,  in 
Derbyshire,  and  at  Birdsall,  but  the  Infirmary  held 
him  fast  till  near  the  end  of  October,  when  his  illness 
became  sufficiently  serious  to  keep  him  in  bed  for 
some  days  and  to  upset  their  plan  of  paying  visits. 
Mrs.  Bishop  explained  his  condition  to  Lady  Middleton 
in  a  letter  dated  December  10.  The  blood-poisoning 
of  the  previous  autumn  was  not  eradicated.  It 
was  sapping  at  the  quality  of  his  blood,  and  the 
slightest  over-exhaustion  or  chill — neither  one  nor 
the  other  avoidable  in  his  work — brought  on  a  tem- 
porary collapse.  When  he  was  convalescent,  a  change 
was  advisable. 

He  was  only  up  to  very  short  journeys,  so  we  went 
to  Moffat  and  Hexham,  and  explored  the  Roman 
Wall  in  a  high,  double  dogcart,  and  then  went  to 
two  rectories  in  the  south  of  Durham  among  my 

158  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

kin,   and  then   to   Canon  Tristram's  at   Durham,  to 
revel  in  Durham  Cathedral. 

Lady  Middleton  wished  her  to  write  a  memoir  of 
Henrietta,  and  in  the  letter  quoted  already  she  gave 
reasons  for  her  hesitation : 

I  cannot  yet  attempt  the  beautiful  life  which  you 
wot  of.  Every  hunt  among  my  sister's  papers  and 
every  attempt  to  put  on  paper  anything  about  her 
brings  on  such  violent  physical  agitation,  succeeded 
by  collapse,  that  I  feel,  for  my  husband's  sake,  I  must 
wait  for  more  strength  before  I  begin  the  labour  of 
love.  It  is  awfully  lonely  to  be  the  last  of  one's  family, 
and  to  have  no  one  to  share  one's  early  memories  and 
with  whom  to  recall  the  delightful  peculiarities  and 
individualities  of  father  and  mother,  and  all  the 
beloved  events  and  trifles  which  made  up  the  past. 
Sorrow  and  I  must  walk  hand  in  hand  till,  through 
"  the  grave  and  gate  of  death,"  I  pass  alone  into  the 
world  where  there  shall  be  "no  more  death,  neither 
sorrow  nor  crying."  My  husband  is  perfect  in  character 
and  perfect  in  love,  my  devoted  lover  yet,  and  I  try  to 
conceal  from  him  how  much  I  suffer. 

She  continues  : 

I  have  quite  given  up  making  calls,  and  find  the 
relief  indescribable.  It  is  almost  freedom.  We  accept 
two  dinner  invitations  weekly.  I  am  "at  home"  every 
Friday  afternoon ;  I  give  small,  cosy  afternoon  teas, 
and  go  to  my  friends  when  they  let  me  know  that  I 
shall  find  them,  and  consider  that  I  pay  my  debt  to 
society.  My  spine  is  considerably  worse,  and  I  go  up 
and  down  stairs  with  so  much  difficulty,  and  am  so 
altogether  unable  to  drive  over  pavements,  that  giving 
up  calls  was  a  necessity,  but  at  the  same  time  I  don't 
find  poor  people's  stairs  present  such  insurmountable 
difficulties ! 

She  refreshed  herself  with  microscopic  work,  and 
went  twice  a  week  to  the  Botanic  Gardens  to 
Professor  Balfour's  lectures  on  "Microscopic  Crypto- 
gamic  Botany,"  and  delighted  in  their  marvellous 

i882]         MRS.   BISHOP  AS   BOTANIST  159 

revelations.  She  was  already  a  good  botanist,  as 
her  remarkable  observation  of  plants  in  the  Sandwich 
Islands  and  in  Japan  revealed,  and  she  constantly 
enlarged  her  study  of  the  various  departments  of 
vegetable  life.  Indeed,  her  great  horticultural  know- 
ledge induced  the  principals  of  a  firm  for  importing 
foreign  trees  and  plants  for  acclimatisation  to  offer 
her  a  large  commission  if  she  would  undertake  to 
be  their  agent,  an  appointment  which  she  did  not 
accept.  Some  passages  in  The  Golden  Chersonese 
illustrate  this  power  of  noting  plants  as  she  passed 
through  a  tropical  jungle.  Here  is  one  from  the 
letter  describing  her  journey  from  Larut  to  Kwala 
Kangsa  in  Perak : 

In  the  day's  journey  I  counted  one  hundred  and 
twenty-six  differing  trees  and  shrubs,  fifty-three  trailers, 
seventeen  epiphytes,  and  twenty-eight  ferns.  I  saw 
more  of  the  shrubs  and  epiphytes  than  I  have  yet 
done,  from  the  altitude  of  an  elephant's  back.  There 
was  an  Asplenium  nidus,  which  had  thirty-seven 
perfect  fronds  radiating  from  a  centre,  each  frond 
irom  three  and  a  quarter  to  five  and  a  half  feet  long, 
and  varying  from  myrtle  to  the  freshest  tint  of  pea- 
green!  There  was  an  orchid  with  hardly  visible 
leaves,  which  bore  six  crowded  clusters  of  flowers 
close  to  the  branch  of  the  tree  on  which  it  grew, 
each  cluster  composed  of  a  number  of  spikes  of  red 
coral  tipped  with  pale  green.  In  the  openings  there 
were  small  trees  with  gorgeous  erythrina-like  flowers, 
glowing  begonias,  red  lilies,  a  trailer  with  trumpet- 
shaped  blossoms  of  canary  yellow,  and  a  smaller 
trailer  which  climbs  over  everything  that  is  not  high, 
entwining  itself  with  the  blue  thunbergia,  and  bearing 
on  single  stalks  single  blossoms,  primrose-shaped,  of 
a  salmon-orange  colour,  with  a  velvety  black  centre. 
In  some  places  one  came  upon  three  varieties  of 
nepenthes,  or  "  monkey-cups,"  some  of  their  pitchers 
holding  (I  should  think)  a  pint  of  fluid,  and  most  of 
them  packed  with  the  skeletons  of  betrayed  guests ; 
then  in  moist  places  upon  steel-blue  aspleniums  and 

160  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

luxuriant  selaginellas,  and  then  came  caelogynes  with 
white  blossoms,  white-flowered  dendrobiums  all 
growing  on  or  clinging  to  trees,  with  scarlet-veined 
banksias,  caladiums,  gingerworts,  and  aroids — 
inclining  one  to  make  incessant  exclamations  of 
wonder  and  delight. 

All  December  and  January  she  was  occupied  with 
the  manuscript  and  proofs  of  this  book,  which  she 
finished  on  February  7,  1883.  The  Leisure  Hour  was 
favoured  with  three  chapters  on  the  subject,  called 
"  Sketches  in  Malay  Peninsula  " — but  the  book  itself 
was  published  by  Mr.  Murray  in  April,  under  the 
title,  which  her  sister  chose  for  it  four  years  earlier, 
The  Golden  Chersonese.  Its  starting-point  is  China,  and 
five  of  the  letters  are  descriptive  of  Hong  Kong  and 
Canton,  while  three  deal  with  Saigon  and  Singapore. 
The  long  introductory  chapter,  and  from  Letter  IX. 
to  the  end — embracing  altogether  278  pages — are 
occupied  with  the  Malay  Peninsula,  and  an  immense 
amount  of  valuable  information  is  packed  into  this 
compass.  The  book  made  a  favourable  impression. 

During  the  latter  part  of  1882  Mrs.  Bishop  had 
another  bad  spinal  attack,  and  in  February  and 
March,  1883,  was  so  ill  that  her  hand  could  hardly 
hold  a  pen.  A  series  of  sleepless  nights  in  January 
preceded  this  break-down,  caused  partly  by  anxiety 
respecting  Dr.  Bishop,  who  was  working  at  full 
pressure  and  growing  whiter  and  more  delicate  every 
week,  though  he  persisted  in  fulfilling  his  daily  duties 
in  every  detail.  By  April  she  was  better  and  fled 
to  Tobermory,  where  she  regained  her  vigour,  put 
the  garden  in  order — planting  and  sowing — and  visited 
all  her  sister's  friends,  rich  and  poor. 

In  June  she  went  to  London — where,  after  a  fort- 
night of  movement  and  almost  of  gaiety,  luncheons, 

i883]  CONSULTATIONS  161 

dinners,  rides  in  the  Park,  visits  to  the  Health 
Exhibition  and  the  Academy,  she  was  joined  by  her 
husband  and  together  they  left  for  Canterbury  and 
St.  Leonards  on  June  22. 

After  a  few  days'  rest  by  the  sea  they  went  to 
Devonshire  to  carry  out  a  plan  made  in  May,  a 
driving  and  riding  tour  which  lasted  three  weeks, 
and  which  included  all  that  was  beautiful  in  cathedral, 
church,  castle,  and  coast  in  that  county.  It  is  startling 
to  read  of  this  energetic  enterprise  on  the  part  of  two 
invalids,  but  it  is  certain  that  both  greatly  enjoyed  it. 
Alas  !  for  one  of  them  it  was  too  hazardous.  By 
July  1 8  Dr.  Bishop  was  once  more  so  ill  that  they 
had  to  halt  at  Clifton  to  consult  Dr.  Shaw.  They 
were  due  at  The  Butts,  Westbury,  the  home  of 
Mrs.  Merttins  Bird  and  her  daughter,  who  although 
themselves  absent,  had  invited  them  to  make  use 
of  their  house  for  a  few  days,  on  their  way  to  the 
deanery  at  Llandaff.  But  Dr.  Bishop  grew  rapidly 
worse  and  the  local  doctors  gave  up  all  hope  of  his 
recovery.  Four  consultations  were  held  and  Pro- 
fessors Grainger  Stewart  and  Greenfield  came  from 
Edinburgh  to  attend  one  of  these,  but  they  had  little 
encouragement  to  offer.  In  August  it  seemed  as  if 
the  end  were  very  near.  On  the  i4th  Mrs.  Bishop 
wrote  to  Lady  Middleton,  who  had  a  short  time 
earlier  suffered  a  week  of  almost  despairing  suspense 
about  Lord  Middleton : 

On  our  way  to  the  Dean  of  Llandaft's,  we  were 
stranded  here  a  month  ago,  and  often,  often  I  wonder 
if  I  shall  at  last  go  forth  alone.  My  dear,  gentle, 
devoted  husband,  after  goading  the  weary  brain  and 
body  up  to  the  verge  of  paralysis,  is  now  laid  down 
to  rest,  a  white  and  wasted  form  just  moved  from 
bed  to  a  couch  by  the  fire,  or  on  very  fine  days  to 
a  couch  outside  the  window,  and  fed  with  milk,  wine, 


162  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

brandy  and  egg,  or  beef-tea  every  two  hours.  It  is 
such  a  strange  and  still  life — all  doing  in  the  present 
and  all  planning  for  the  future  at  an  end.  God  only 
knows  what  the  result  is  to  be.  The  doctors  give 
little  hope  of  recovery. 

On  September  9  she  wrote  again  : 

He  has  become  a  skeleton  with  transparent  white 
hands,  and  his  face  is  nothing  but  a  beard  and  beau- 
tiful eyes.  He  is  always  happy;  everything,  however 
distressing,  is  "  all  right."  He  says  that  these  weeks 
have  been  the  happiest  time  of  his  life.  His  mind  is 
very  clear  and  bright ;  he  is  full  of  fun,  interest,  and 
thought  for  others.  My  aunt  speaks  of  the  "  sweet 
dignity  of  his  self-control,"  and  his  utter  selflessness — a 
thing  beyond  unselfishness.  I  nursed  him  entirely  day 
and  night  for  six  weeks  ;  but  when  he  came  to  require 
lifting,  I  sent  for  the  splendid  woman  who  nursed  my 
sister,  and  who  saw  him  then  so  strong  for  others. 
She  quite  adores  him,  and  it  is  a  great  comfort  to  me 
to  have  a  person  who  knows  something  of  my  husband. 
On  Saturday  week  he  was  sinking  so  fast  that  the 
doctors  said  he  would  not  see  midnight,  and  on  the 
following  Monday  he  nearly  sank.  "  My  love  is 
the  love  of  eternity,"  he  whispered,  as  I  wiped  what 
was  believed  to  be  the  death-dew  from  his  brow.  We 
are  now  fighting  death  inch  by  inch.  It  is  an  awful 
time.  Death  may  occur  at  any  moment  from  "fatal 
syncope";  but  perhaps  even  now  God  will  hear 
prayer,  and  preserve  that  useful,  unselfish,  stainless 
life.  I  now  realise  that  his  devoted  love  has  stood 
between  me  and  the  worst  desolation,  ever  since  he 
led  me  from  the  death-chamber  at  Tobermory. 

The  fight  was  steadfastly  maintained,  and  at  last, 
on  December  3,  some  of  the  more  alarming  symptoms 
were  subdued,  and  it  was  possible  to  remove  him 
to  London.  Mrs.  Merttins  Bird  and  her  daughter 
had  done  everything  for  them  both  during  the 
four  and  a  half  months  of  anxiety.  The  nurse  was 
assisted  by  a  dear  young  friend  from  Tobermory, 
whose  devotion  was  an  unspeakable  relief  and 

I884]  ST.   LEONARDS  163 

support  to  Mrs.  Bishop.  Dr.  Nicholson  and  Dr.  Shaw 
took  him  to  the  station,  and  Dr.  Shaw  travelled 
with  him  to  Paddington,  where  Dr.  Dixon  and 
Dr.  Wright  met  him,  with  a  carriage  sent  by  Miss 
Poole.  They  went  to  the  Paddington  Hotel  for 
three  weeks,  and  here  he  was  constantly  visited  not 
only  by  the  gentlemen  already  mentioned,  but  by 
Sir  Andrew  Clark  and  his  old  professor,  Mr.  Lister. 
They  saw  him  together  on  the  5th,  but  gave  no 
definite  verdict  on  that  day.  It  was  a  case  of 
"  pernicious  anaemia,"  and  its  origin  was  doubtless 
that  unfortunate  operation  on  the  Swedish  sailor 
in  the  erysipelas  ward  of  Edinburgh  Infirmary  in 
autumn,  1881,  when  he  forgot  the  tiny  scratch  on 
his  face,  which  laid  him  open  to  blood-poisoning. 

Their  advice  was  to  get   him  at  once  to  the  sea- 
side, so  Dr.  Dixon  accompanied  him  and  Mrs.  Bishop 
to  St.  Leonards,  where   they  remained  all  January, 
February,   and   part  of  March,   1884.     There  ensued 
at    first   a   great    improvement  in   his  general    con- 
dition.    The  weather  was  brilliant   in  January,   and 
he  was  often  able  to  go  out  for  an  hour  in  a  bath- 
chair.     Some  cousins  of  Mrs.  Bishop's  were  staying 
at  Hastings,  and  came  constantly  to  share  her  nursing, 
reading  to  him  and  cheering  him.     His  appetite  im- 
proved, and   for  a  time   the   strain   of  apprehension 
was  relaxed.      Two   good   doctors   saw  him   almost 
daily,  and  till  February  the  only  disquieting  circum- 
stance was  the  recall  of  his  valuable  nurse  and  the 
incompetence  of  her  successors.     But  then   the  im- 
provement ceased,  and  some  of  the  worst  symptoms 
reappeared.     He  was  dependent  on  the  weather,  as 
are   so  many  sensitive    invalids.     Constant   sickness 
and    inability    to    take    food    returned.      So    it    was 
decided  that  he  must  see   Sir  Andrew  Clark  again, 

164  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

and  Mrs.  Bishop  took  him  back  to  London,  where 
a  consultation  was  held  on  March  18.  The  verdict, 
if  not  favourable,  was  at  least  not  threatening,  so 
it  was  possible  for  her  to  leave  him  in  charge  of 
hospitable  friends,  the  doctors,  and  a  nurse,  and  go 
to  Edinburgh  on  the  long-delayed  business  involved 
in  dismantling  their  Edinburgh  home,  which  had 
now  to  be  given  up. 

It  was  a  melancholy  errand,  and  involved  almost 
heart-breaking  work,  for  time  and  her  husband's 
devotion  had  gradually  strengthened  her  attachment 
to  the  house  in  Walker  Street.  At  last,  with  the 
help  of  friends,  valuables  were  taken  to  the  bank 
and  the  furniture  was  stored,  and  she  was  able  to 
take  the  night  train  back  to  London  on  April  7. 
She  had  received  two  telegrams  daily,  and  sometimes 
a  letter,  from  her  husband,  who  was  with  her  friend 
Mrs.  Bowman,  and  she  was  rejoiced  to  find  him 
looking  a  little  better. 

She  longed  to  take  her  husband  to  Tobermory,  and 
asked  the  Macdonalds  to  superintend  some  necessary 
preparations.  They  had  been  the  kindest  of  neigh- 
bours to  Henrietta,  and  were  to  prove  themselves 
devoted  friends  to  Mrs.  Bishop. 

I  have  wanted  to  tell  you  how  delighted  I  was 
with  Maggie,  and  how  highly  I  think  of  her.  A  more 
competent,  thoughtful  helper  I  could  not  have  had, 
and  her  gentle,  sympathetic,  and  sweet  ways  were 
such  a  comfort  to  me.  She  never  thought  01  herself, 
and  always  seemed  to  know  without  being  told  exactly 
what  I  wanted.  She  has  prudence  and  tact  beyond 
her  years — a  very  dear  girl. 

The  doctors  now  advised  Brighton  for  her  husband, 
and  they  moved  there  on  April  9,  and  were  joined 
there  by  Blair,  their  trusted  servant,  who  helped  to 

I884j  MRS.  PETER  TAYLOR  165 

nurse  him.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  Dr.  Bishop's 
health  revived  in  the  strong  sea  air,  and  he  not  only 
went  out  daily  in  a  bath-chair,  but  was  able  to  go 
for  short  walks  and  an  occasional  long  drive.  His 
brother  came  to  Brighton,  and  was  his  frequent 
companion.  Nearly  every  evening  he  was  massaged ; 
his  whole  weight  at  the  beginning  of  their  stay  was 
eight  stone,  but  he  gained  flesh  before  they  left. 

It  was  during  this  time  that  Mrs.  Bishop  made  the 
acquaintance  of  Mrs.  Peter  Taylor,  who  spent  the  last 
twenty  years  of  her  life  in  and  near  Brighton.  Her 
"  Wednesdays  "  at  Aubrey  House,  on  Campden  Hill, 
had  been  famous,  and  in  their  social  and  cosmopolitan 
variety  had  a  character  of  their  own.  Mrs.  Taylor 
was  the  personal  friend  of  Mazzini,  Garibaldi,  John 
Stuart  Mill,  the  Grotes,  and  of  many  pioneers  of 
reform.  She  collected  about  her  a  memorable  circle 
of  men  and  women — somewhat  regardless  of  their 
poverty  or  wealth,  but  with  care  as  to  their  worth, 
ability,  and  convictions.  Perhaps  few  are  living  now 
who  remember  her  lovely  face  and  slight  form,  the 
delicate  lavenders  and  sea-greens  of  her  dress,  her 
clear,  penetrating  glance,  bright  laughter,  and  swift 
wit.  Mrs.  Bishop  appreciated  her  at  once,  and  went 
to  see  her  often  during  May,  1884. 

She  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  from  Brighton  in  answer 
to  his  inquiries : 

Under  new  treatment  an  improvement  has  taken 
place,  which  has  been  maintained  for  more  than  a 
month.  Some  strength  has  been  gained,  and  there 
seems  now  reason  to  hope  for  recovery,  though  by 
very  slow  degrees.  We  have  sold  our  Edinburgh 
house,  as  the  doctors  have  decreed  a  wandering  life 
for  eighteen  months.  A  facsimile  of  my  Rocky 
Mountains  travelling  dress  is  being  exhibited  at  the 
National  Health  Exhibition,  at  the  request  of  the 

166  MARRIAGE  [CHAP,  vn 

Committee.  I  might  have  made  the  exhibit  dainty 
and  attractive,  but  it  is  strictly  a  working  costume, 
such  as  I  shall  wear  if  I  travel  in  outlandish  regions 

After  five  weeks  she  took  her  husband  back  to 
London  to  ask  Sir  Andrew  Clark's  sanction  for  a 
three  months'  residence  at  Tobermory.  This  was 
given,  and  they  began  to  move  northwards  by  easy 
stages,  one  of  them  being  Ilkley,  where  Dr.  Bishop 
enjoyed  the  moors,  and  ventured  out  on  the  heather 
for  brief  walks.  He  was  weighed  here  by  Dr.  John- 
stone,  and  found  to  be  nine  stone,  two  pounds.  Mrs. 
Bishop  left  him  at  Ilkley,  and  went  on  to  Tobermory 
to  make  all  ready  for  his  coming.  During  all  this 
time  she  never  recorded  a  word  about  herself  and 
her  ailments.  Self  had  passed  out  of  sight  in  love's 
ministry.  Her  diary  is  filled  with  entries  concerning 
him — his  doctors,  nurses,  movements,  daily  condition. 
On  July  26  Dr.  Bishop  arrived  by  the  Pioneer,  on 
board  which  she  had  made  all  arrangements  for  his 
comfort.  He  seemed  wonderfully  well  after  the  double 
journey  by  rail  and  boat,  and  was  able  to  stroll  up 
to  Heanish  that  very  evening. 



WHILE  the  weather  kept  up,  Dr.  Bishop  continued 
to  improve.  Two  young  doctors,  Mrs.  Macdonald's 
sons,  were  at  home  and  took  him  out  boating  almost 
daily.  His  brother  came  to  the  new  hotel  for  a 
month,  and  was  his  companion,  boating  or  driving. 
He  ate  better,  began  to  sketch,  sat  out  a  great  deal, 
made  visits  and  enjoyed  those  of  friends  and  neigh- 
bours. By  the  end  of  August,  1884,  ne  nad  gained 
half  a  stone.  Mrs.  Bishop  was  at  liberty  to  read 
and  write  a  little  and  to  visit  the  poor  people  whose 
care  she  regarded  as  Henrietta's  legacy. 
On  the  23rd  she  wrote  to  Lady  Middleton  : 

I  wished  I  had  been  with  you  when  you  entertained 
Lowell,  whom  I  remember  as  a  young  widower  living 
in  a  small  clematis-embowered  wooden  house  in  Cam- 
bridge, Mass.,  wearing  masses  of  brown  auburn  hair 
rather  long,  and  being  regarded  as  resembling  Shake- 
speare. He  was  then  known  only  as  the  author  of 
The  Biglow  Papers.  I  think  much  more  of  him  as  a 
most  accomplished  critic  than  as  a  man  of  great  literary 
talent.  I  wonder  what  he  is  like  now.  His  public 
appearances  are  tactful  and  charming. 

Unfortunately  about  that  time  torrents  of  rain 
and  thunderous  heat  replaced  the  fresh  summer  air 
and  sunshine,  and  Dr.  Bishop  ceased  to  benefit  and 
even  began  to  lose  ground. 


1 68  LOSS  [CHAP,  vin 

I  do  not  now  think  [she  wrote]  that  John  will  recover, 
but  unless  he  has  an  illness  he  may  live  for  a  long 
time  as  an  invalid.  He  is  ordered  to  the  Riviera  for  the 
winter,  and  unless  this  retrograde  movement  goes  on 
I  suppose  we  shall  leave  in  November,  paying  perhaps 
one  or  two  visits  previously.  He  keeps  up  his  wonder- 
ful patience  and  quiet  cheerfulness.  He  spends  much 
of  his  time  in  drawing,  which  he  only  began  in  May, 
but  already  he  has  taken  one  or  two  slight  sketches  in 
water  colours.  He  can  walk  about  two  hundred  yards, 
and  take  long  drives,  but  his  great  delight  is  in  boating 
— actual  sailing  in  the  Sound  of  Mull. 

She  was  busy  in  leisure  hours  with  the  compression 
of  Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan  into  one  volume — for  a 
new  edition  which  Mr.  Murray  asked  her  to  prepare— 
leaving  out  statistics  and  making  it  a  book  of  travel 
and  adventure.  She  finished  this  by  October  i,  a 
week  before  taking  Dr.  Bishop  to  Edinburgh.  Mr. 
Murray  had  also  inquired  about  her  notes  of  travel 
in  the  Highlands  of  Scotland  in  the  fifties  and  sixties, 
but  these  had  all  been  destroyed. 

On  October  8  they  travelled  to  Edinburgh,  after 
a  day's  halt  at  Oban  for  the  invalid.  Lodgings  were 
taken  at  16  Alva  Street,  where  they  stayed  a  fort- 
night, Professor  Grainger  Stewart  and  Dr.  Ritchie 
daily  visiting  Dr.  Bishop.  A  new  treatment  was 
begun,  but  he  was  losing  ground,  and  it  was  impera- 
tive to  get  him  away  as  soon  as  possible.  They 
moved  to  the  Royal  Hotel,  because  Mrs.  Bishop 
noticed  that  he  ate  more  when  people  were  about 
him,  and  there  I  saw  him  on  a  blusterous  autumn 
day.  He  looked  pearly  white,  but  his  eyes  were 
full  of  peace/  goodness,  and  cheerfulness,  and  he 
asked  me  to  come  back  in  the  evening  and  read 
King  John  to  him.  I  was  staying  with  Mrs.  Blackie, 
who  thought  it  hazardous  to  go  out  in  the  midst 
of  a  perfect  tempest  of  wind  and  rain,  but  the  promise 

,884]  HYERES  169 

to  one  so  near  the  world  of  spirits,  and  who  looked 
already  like  one  of  their  company,  was  sacred.  He 
met  me  at  the  head  of  the  staircase.  "  I  knew  you 
would  come,"  he  said ;  "  Isabella  thought  you  could 
not  possibly  come,  but  I  knew  better."  He  enjoyed 
the  reading  greatly  and  listened  till  it  was  time  to 
cease,  thanking  me  generously  when  I  left. 

Two  days  later  they  were  in  London  at  the  Portland 
Hotel,  where  Dr.  Bishop's  brother  joined  them  and 
went  with  them  to  Dover,  Paris,  Marseilles,  and 
Hyeres,  which  they  reached  on  November  19. 

The  opinion  of  the  London  doctors  [wrote  Mrs. 
Bishop  from  Dover  to  Mrs.  Macdonald]  all  but  shuts 
out  hope ;  they  say  that  the  journey  is  a  great  risk, 
but  that  he  could  not  in  this  country  live  more  than 
three  months.  I  look  at  the  sea  before  the  window, 
which  it  is  proposed  that  he  shall  cross,  and  seem  ever 
to  hear  a  voice  saying,  "  Weep  sore  for  him  that  goeth 
away,  for  he  shall  return  no  more,  nor  see  his  native 
country  any  more." 

The  passage  was  bad,  and,  although  he  was  laid 
on  an  air  bed  throughout  the  whole  journey,  it  tried 
him  severely.  When  at  length  Hyeres  was  reached, 
Mrs.  Bishop  secured  a  suite  of  rooms  at  the  Hotel 
de  TErmitage — "  two  large  bow-windowed  rooms 
with  a  splendid  view,  and  a  smaller  one  with  a  fine 
wood  view." 

Dr.  Bishop  was  so  exhausted  that  he  lay  scarcely 
noting  who  was  there,  or  what  was  done.  She 
nursed  him  day  and  night  herself  for  a  fortnight, 
giving  him  milk  and  brandy  every  two  and  a  half 
hours,  and  now  and  then  a  freshly  gathered  orange. 
Then  she  found  an  English  nurse  just  disengaged, 
who  took  the  night  duty.  He  regained  a  very  little 
strength  by  December  and  liked  to  be  read  to.  He 
talked  a  great  deal  about  Tobermory,  saying  again 

1 70  LOSS  [CHAP,  vin 

and  again,  "  Last  summer  was  the  happiest  time  in 
my  life."  He  longed  for  news  of  all  the  people 
there,  and  Mrs.  Bishop  asked  Mrs.  Macdonald  to 
send  them  a  letter  full  of  details  about  everybody. 
He  was  still  entirely  confined  to  bed. 

Besides  nursing  him  and  reading  to  him,  I  get 
very  little  done  [she  wrote  to  Lady  Middleton  on 
January  22,  1885],  a  little  drawing,  a  little  French 
study,  and  two  or  three  sheets  of  A  Pilgrimage 
to  Mount  Sinai.  My  head  and  heart  are  weary, 
and  I  find  it  difficult  to  lose  myself  in  my  subject. 

Mr.  Murray  asked  her  to  send  an  article  on  the 
Riviera  to  the  editor  of  The  Quarterly  Review,  but 
she  was  too  dispirited  by  her  immediate  pre- 
occupations to  consent.  She  had  promised  Dr. 
Macaulay,  of  The  Leisure  Hour,  to  put  her  notes  of 
the  desert  journey  to  Mount  Sinai  in  order,  and 
from  time  to  time  she  spent  an  hour  upon  them. 
The  three  papers  were  not  finished  till  the  end  of 
1885,  and  appeared  in  1886. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  former  year  an  improve- 
ment in  Dr.  Bishop's  health  gave  short-lived  hope. 
He  could  sit  up,  be  carried  down  to  the  Terrace, 
and  even  take  a  short  drive,  but  in  February  this 
rally  ebbed  and  he  seemed  to  be  fast  sinking.  Then 
with  March  came  an  even  more  encouraging  revival, 
and  for  a  time  she  almost  hoped  to  take  him  back 
to  England  for  the  summer.  She  was  in  desperate 
need  of  change  and  rest,  and  the  presence  of  her 
capable  friend  Miss  Clayton  enabled  her  to  take  it, 
when  the  spell  of  improvement  grew  steadier  in 
April.  She  described  this  three  weeks'  holiday  in 
a  letter  to  Mr.  Murray  written  on  April  29  : 

As  I  had  only  such  luggage  as  I  could  easily  carry 
myself  and   had  fairly  good  weather,  I   saw  a   good 

i885]  THE  RIVIERA  171 

deal  and  enjoyed  it  as  much  as  anxiety  and  feeble 
health  on  my  own  part  would  allow  me.  I  went  to 
every  place  along  the  coast  from  Cannes  to  Final 
Marina !  My  preference  for  outlandish  travelling  and 
half-civilised  peoples  remains  unshaken,  however. 
I  had  not  realised  that  the  Riviera  is  suburban 
Genoa,  or  suburban  Marseilles,  or  both,  for  its 
whole  extent,  and  still  speculators  are  planting  trees, 
making  boulevards,  and  building  unsightly  nouses. 
I  spent  a  week  at  Cannes,  or  rather  at  Garibondy 
in  perfect  weather.  The  unusual  rains  have  given 
the  gardens  and  surroundings  of  Cannes  an  exquisite 
beauty  this  year. 

She  combined  the  practical  with  the  recreative  in 
this  tour,  going  to  all  the  hotels  to  inspect  their 
resources,  in  case  it  were  advisable  to  change  Dr. 
Bishop's  surroundings  in  the  autumn.  But  none  of 
them  pleased  her  so  well  as  the  Hotel  de  1'Ermitage. 
On  her  return,  the  doctors  prescribed  mountain  air, 
"  as  a  last  resort,"  and  absolutely  forbade  his  return 
to  England.  But  for  the  moment  Dr.  Bishop  was 
a  little  better,  and  was  sketching  and  even  writing 
letters.  One  to  Mr.  Murray  bears  date  May  2,  1885, 
and  asks  for  information  respecting  Dean  Mansel's 
contributions  to  The  Speaker's  Commentary  and  other 
theological  collections,  adding : 

My  dear  wife  has  returned  from  her  eighteen  days' 
rambles  along  the  coast.  She  looks  better,  though 
alas !  her  spine  is  very  troublesome.  I  know  that 
you  will  be  interested  to  hear  that  I  can  report  over 
five  weeks'  fair  progress  in  convalescence  on  my 
own  part. 

The  time  was  favourable  for  his  removal,  and  their 
friends  were  willing  to  go  with  them,  so  on  the 
evening  of  May  19  a  start  was  made  with  every 
possible  precaution.  They  reached  Geneva  at  mid- 
day of  the  20th,  and  drove  to  the  Hdtel  Nationale. 

172  LOSS  [CHAP,  viii 

Dr.  Bishop  slept  part  of  the  way,  and  on  the  2ist  was 
able  to  lunch  and  dine  with  the  others.  After  estab- 
lishing him  at  Glion  and  finding  that  her  health  made 
a  visit  to  London  imperative,  and  that  she  could  leave 
him  with  confidence  in  Miss  Clayton's  hands,  Mrs. 
Bishop  went  to  London,  and  there,  on  June  i,  under- 
went an  operation  at  Sir  Joseph  Lister's  hands.  Then 
she  stayed  four  days  with  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie 
in  Edinburgh,  did  much  business,  and  had  many 
consultations  with  Professor  Grainger  Stewart  about 
her  husband.  Returning  to  London  for  a  final  visit 
to  Sir  Joseph  Lister,  she  left  England  on  June  17, 
and  on  the  i9th  was  once  more  with  Dr.  Bishop, 
whom  Miss  Clayton  had  removed  to  Territet  during 
her  absence.  She  described  his  state  to  Mr.  Murray 
on  the  24th  : 

I  was  exceedingly  sorry  to  leave  without  seeing 
you  again  and  without  the  little  visit  to  Wimbledon 
for  which  I  had  hoped.  I  was  for  ten  days  a  patient 
of  Sir  Joseph  Lister,  and  afterwards  was  obliged  to 
make  a  hurried  run  to  Edinburgh  to  arrange  for  our 
longer  absence.  During  my  short  sojourn  in  England, 
my  husband  became  so  much  weaker  that  I  felt  it 
absolutely  necessary  to  return.  He  looks  pathetically 
fragile  and  ethereal,  and,  though  the  doctors  still  fancy 
that  a  high  altitude  may  alter  the  course  of  his  illness, 
I  am  slowly  coming  to  the  conclusion  that  this  long 
and  weary  time  of  weakness  must  ere  very  long 
terminate  fatally.  My  husband  is  too  weak  to  sit 
up  even  in  bed,  and  I  very  greatly  dread  the  risk 
of  moving  him  to  any  such  height  as  the  Eggishorn, 
to  which  he  must  be  carried  on  a  litter,  and  where 
he  may  become  worse.  .  .  .  We  are  thinking  of 
Vissoie  in  the  Val  d'Anniviers  and  possibly  of  Bella 
Tola  afterwards. 

This  project  was  carried  out  almost  at  once,  for 
by  July  7  the  whole  party  was  settled  at  the  Hotel 
Bella  Tola,  St.  Luc,  Valais,  and  the  Bishops  remained 

1885]  VISSOIE  173 

there  for  nearly  three  months.  Dr.  Bishop  was 
carried  up  from  Vissoie  on  an  air-bed,  and  as  the 
ascent  is  steep,  the  strain  exhausted  him.  After 
a  few  days'  rest,  he  spent  four  or  five  hours  daily 
lying  on  a  couch  in  the  open  air.  The  weather  was 
glorious,  no  rain  fell  for  eight  weeks — except  after 
occasional  thunder-storms.  Indeed,  one  of  their  first 
encounters  at  Vissoie  was  with  a  procession  of  743 
men  and  women  in  white  from  head  to  foot, 
nearly  all  very  devout-looking,  who  had  assembled 
at  4  a.m.  and  had  walked  ten  miles  and  back  to 
a  very  sacred  shrine  of  the  Virgin  Mary  to  pray  for 
rain.  The  mediaevalism  of  this  procession,  as  it 
wound  like  a  monstrous  white  caterpillar  along  the 
mountain  path,  was  very  striking.  The  pious  trudge 
was  in  vain,  for  the  drought  lasted  eight  weeks  longer. 
Miss  Bessie  Ker,  one  of  the  friends  whom  Mrs. 
Bishop  affectionately  called  "  the  people,"  gives  the 
following  account  of  their  ascent  to  Vissoie : 

After  the  winter  of  1884-5,  which  we  spent  in  the 
same  hotel  with  them  near  Hyeres,  and  during  which 
Miss  Clayton  used  to  read  to  him  daily  and  comforted 
him  much,  we  all  went  together  into  Switzerland  and 
she  took  charge  of  him  at  Glion  at  the  head  of  the 
Lake  of  Geneva,  while  Isabella  went  to  England  on 
business.  On  her  return,  we  all  went  up  to  the 
Val  d'Anniviers,  a  lateral  small  valley  from  that  of 
the  Rhone.  It  was  then  only  accessible  by  a  narrow 
road  partly  resting  on  wooden  supports  outside  the 
precipices  along  the  river,  and  so  narrow  that  it 
could  only  take  the  long,  narrow  country  cart.  In 
one  of  these  he  lay  on  a  mattress,  Miss  Clayton 
going  with  him  on  the  very  uncomfortable  seat  beside 
the  driver.  Isabella  and  I  followed,  my  sister  and 
Deis  [a  Swiss  nurse]  were  behind.  This  drive  excited 
him  very  much,  he  had  never  seen  anything  like  it 
and  was  enjoying  it  greatly.  Once  or  twice  he  raised 
|  a  white  face  with  gleaming  eyes,  looked  back  and 
waved  his  cap. 

LOSS  [CHAP,  vm 

The  heat  at  Vissoie  was  so  great  that  it  was  soon 
necessary  to  seek  the  higher  levels  of  St.  Luc,  whither 
on  July  7  he  was   carried   up  the  steep  zigzag  road 
by  four  men,  on  a  stretcher.     Isabella  walked  up,  the 
others  on  mules  rode  through  the  wood  to  Hotel  Bella 
Tola,  5,496  ft.  high.     Many  days  and  nights  of  anxious 
ministry  followed.     In  August   Mrs.  Bishop  was  left 
alone  with  her  husband,  but  when  the  September  cold 
came  on  and  the  hours  spent  outside  were  gradually 
reduced  to  one,  she  sent  for  Mr.  Duncan  Macdonald, 
a   medical   student  whose   aid   she   urgently   needed. 
The   worst    symptoms    were    returning    and    it    was 
important   to  carry   him   down    to    Lausanne   before 
winter!  set  in,  when  Bella  Tola  was  shut  up  and  the 
landlord   left  for  Vissoie.     All   October    he    suffered 
a    succession    of   agitating   changes    and    it    became 
obvious    that    he    must    avoid    the   winter    severity. 
Cannes  was  chosen  by  the  Swiss  doctor  as  his  next 
stage,   and    thither   they  journeyed    from    Lausanne, 
arriving   at   the    H6tel   Richemont  on   November  3. 
But  the  tide  rose  and  fell  ever  more  feebly. 

At  last  Mrs.  Bishop  sent  for  Sir  Joseph  Lister, 
and  it  was  decided  to  attempt  the  perilous  opera- 
tion of  transfusion  of  blood.  A  sturdy  young  Italian 
peasant  was  willing  to  risk  it  for  a  large  sum  of 
money,  and  every  precaution  which  surgical  science 
could  dictate  was  used.  Sir  Joseph  Lister,  assisted 
by  three  doctors,  operated,  and  the  process  lasted 
an  hour  and  a  half.  This  was  on  January  3,  1886. 

No  evil  effects  followed  this  almost  despairing 
effort  to  prolong  the  beloved  life,  but  it  was  futile, 
for  he  had  no  power  to  assimilate  the  fresh  young 
blood.  When  it  was  safe  to  move  him,  he  was 
taken  in  an  ambulance  to  the  Hotel  des  Anglais, 
where,  very  gently  but  very  surely,  he  faded  from 

,886]  DR.  BISHOP'S  DEATH  175 

earth  before  her  eyes.  To  the  last  he  was  happy, 
and  except  when  fevered  by  exhaustion  absolutely 
peaceful.  An  excellent  man-servant,  Jean  Hari,  had 
been  brought  from  Valais,  and  could  hardly  be  pre- 
vailed upon  to  leave  him  for  the  briefest  rest.  Just 
towards  the  end  his  suffering  was  so  great  that 
Dr.  Frank  recommended  chloroform  from  time  to 
time  to  spare  him  its  paroxysms.  Mrs.  Bishop 
administered  it.  She  was  with  him  till  one  o'clock 
the  night  before  he  died,  and  received  his  last 
whisper  of  love  as  she  bade  him  good-night.  At 
seven  o'clock  she  came  back  to  him,  and  at  half- 
past  eight  his  gentle  spirit  fled.  It  was  Saturday, 
March  6,  1886. 

His  brother  had  been  at  Cannes  for  ten  days,  and 
with  Dr.  Frank's  assistance  made  all  the  funeral 
arrangements.  It  was  hastened  by  a  day,  for 
March  8  was  the  anniversary  of  his  marriage  five 
years  earlier,  and  Isabella  could  not  bear  the  thought 
of  burying  him  on  that  day.  So  on  Sunday,  March  7, 
he  was  laid  to  rest  in  the  hill  cemetery,  from  which 
his  mourners  could  look  upon  a  view  of  sea  and 
mountains.  They  were  his  brother,  Dr.  Frank  and 
Lady  Agnes  Frank,  Miss  Ker,  Miss  Lillingston,  and 
Jean  Hari.  Even  by  friends  of  a  few  weeks  he  was 
truly  mourned. 

Mrs.  Bishop  would  have  sunk  altogether  had  not 
Miss  Clayton  come  to  her  at  once.  As  it  was,  she 
was  lost  in  a  stupor  of  grief  after  the  funeral,  which 
she  had  watched  winding  up  the  hill  towards  the 
cemetery.  Her  friends  did  all  they  could  for  her, 
and  kept  her  as  much  as  possible  in  bed. 

After  each  bereavement  her  heart  and  flesh  were 
nigh  to  failing,  and  now  that  the  last  human  treasure 
was  taken,  and  she  was  left  alone,  a  wave  of  anguish 

176  LOSS  [CHAP,  vin 

overwhelmed  her.  But  in  her  grief  there  was  a  new 
element,  a  throbbing  and  stirring  of  her  spiritual  life, 
a  sense  of  the  world  which  her  husband  had  entered, 
and,  as  she  said  herself,  she  "was  brought  face  to 
face  with  Jesus  Christ."  Long  before,  when  Mrs. 
Bird  died,  Isabella  had  written  a  "  prayer  of  the 

Saviour,  whose  crowned  humanity 
Still  stoops  to  wipe  the  tearful  eye, 
Unto  whose  ear  the  voiceless  sigh 
Pleads  not  in  vain  ; 

Thou,  who  the  broken  heart  hath  healed, 
Look  on  the  woe  to  Thee  revealed, 
The  burning  fount  of  tears  unsealed, 
This  bitter  pain. 

If  blindly  on  a  mortal  head, 
With  lavish  hand,  I  fondly  shed 
Gifts  on  Thy  shrine  more  fitly  laid, 
Saviour,  forgive ! 

With  earthly  love  compelled  to  part, 
Stricken  by  Sorrow's  keenest  dart, 
Have  mercy  on  this  wounded  heart 
And  healing  give. 

If  mortal  accents  all  too  dear, 
With  their  deep  music  filled  my  ear, 
So  that  Thy  voice  I  failed  to  hear, 
O  Christ,  forgive  ! 

Turn  not  this  human  heart  to  stone, 
But  once  again,  with  magic  tone, 
Thrill  through  its  chambers  dark  and  lone, 
Bidding  it  live. 

On  March  1 1  she  began  to  face  her  solitude.  During 
the  first  quiet  days  she  sewed  for  herself  dress,  mantle, 
bonnet,  cap — all  the  sad  garb  of  widowhood.  As  a 
child  she  had  learned  to  cut  out  and  make  the  simple 
cotton  smocks  which  she  and  her  sister  wore  at 
Tattenhall.  Needlework  was  her  constant  resource 

,886]  "BY  GOD'S   HELP"  177 

in  times  of  suffering,  and  she  was  expert  at  cutting 
out  and  at  using  the  sewing-machine. 

On  the  24th  she  went  to  Mentone  on  business, 
but  returned  after  a  few  days,  and  chose  a  monu- 
ment for  her  husband's  grave  in  Cannes.  Dr. 
Murray  Mitchell  was  at  Mentone — the  friend  who 
had  first  introduced  Dr.  Bishop  to  her — and  he 
helped  her  with  the  business  complications  which 

By  April  she  was  able  to  visit  the  grave  daily,  and 
there,  on  the  isth,  she  consecrated  herself  to  those 
special  labours  for  others  which  had  been  his  delight 
and  to  which  Christ  had  called  her.  On  May  i  she 
wrote  to  Mrs.  Blackie : 

The  loss  of  him  is  simply  awful — my  own  pure, 
saintly,  heroic,  unworldly,  unselfish,  devoted  husband. 
I  have  long  known  that  he  was  the  only  man  I  have 
seen  whom  I  could  have  married  with  any  chance  of 
happiness.  His  long  and  weary  illness  had  made 
him  the  object  of  all  my  thoughts,  plans,  hopes, 
fears,  interests.  I  have  lived  for  him.  But  I  must 
not  write  about  my  grief  and  desolation,  Life  at  the 
longest  cannot  be  very  long,  and  will  be  made  up 
not  of  years,  but  of  days,  and  I  should  be  traitorous 
to  the  blessed  memories  of  those  whom  I  have  loved 
and  lost  if  I  did  not  seek  to  show  my  gratitude  for 
the  good  things. of  my  past  life.  Henceforth  I  must 
live  my  own  life,  responsible  to  God  alone  and  my 
conscience.  It  must  be  lonely  and  darkened. by  the 
shadow  of  death,  but  by  God's  help  I  trust  that  it 
will  neither  be  selfish  nor  repining. 

Here  is  a  new  note,  and  "  by  God's  help"  its  music 
swelled  into  a  psalm  of  service. 

The  "  people "  wef e  about  to  return  by  Paris  to 
London,  and  she  decided  to  go  with  them  as  far  as 
Aix-les-Bains.  After  a  few  days  together  they 
separated,  and  she  made  her  way  to  Sierre  and  St. 
Luc,  where  she  spent  a  whole  day  in  what  had 


1 78.  LOSS  [CHAP,  vm 

been  Dr.  Bishop's  room,  praying,  reading,  formulating 
her  resolutions,  renewing  her  solemn  dedication. 
On  May  11  she  wrote  from  the  Hotel  Bella  Tola 
to  Mrs.  Macdonald  : 

I  came  here  to  retrace  the  precious  memories  of 
last  summer,  and  to  stamp  the  place  for  ever  on 
my  memory.  I  have  this  room,  in  which  patience 
did  her  perfect  work,  and  can  almost  see  the  bright 
angel-face.  He  was  "  an  angel,"  the  landlord  said— 
"  yes ;  angel  of  patience."  It  was  from  here  on 
a  sunny  afternoon,  carried  in  his  camp-bed  by  four 
men,  that  he  started  with  radiant  face  on  his 
journey  to  death.  I  see  it  all  as  I  write.  The 
snow  is  deep  all  round  here.  The  father  and 
daughter  who  keep  the  hotel  came  up  to  open  it 
for  me.  The  father  and  my  husband  had  formed  a 
strong  mutual  attachment,  and  they  sympathise 
deeply  in  my  terrible  loss.  Will  you  help  any  one 
with  goods  from  me  who  may  be  in  special  want? 
I  leave  the  helping  of  the  very  poor  to  your  discretion 
and  knowledge,  and  ask  you  to  be  generous,  for  I 
can  make  my  personal  expenses  very  small  now. 

Then,  after  a  day  at  Geneva,  one  at  Glion,  one 
at  Pontarlier,  and  one  at  Lausanne,  she  took  the 
train  to  Paris,  joined  her  friends  there,  and  went 
with  them  on  May  15,  going  to  stay  with  Miss 
Poole  at  48  Avenue  Road  for  a  fortnight.  There 
were  many  people  to  see  and  things  to  do,  and  she 
was  besides  called  to  St.  Leonards  to  visit  a  dear 
cousin,  Harriet  Bird,  on  her  deathbed. 

By  June  2  she  was  able  to  leave  for  Edinburgh, 
where  Professor  and  Mrs.  Grainger  Stewart  were 
her  hosts.  Her  duty  was  to  unpack  her  husband's 
books  and  papers  and  to  distribute  them  as  he  had 
wished.  This  work  went  on  at  9  Douglas  Crescent, 
where  Mrs.  Blackie  had  stored  her  boxes. 

On  June  18  she  reached  Tobermory,  and  found 
distress  at  The  Cottage.  Mrs.  McDougall,  caretaker 

i886]  TIREE  179 

in  her  absence  and  housekeeper  during  her  residence, 
was    very    ill,    and    an    immediate    operation    was 
necessary.    This  was  performed  on  the  25th  by  Dr. 
Maxwell,  of  Tobermory,  to  whom  Mrs.  Bishop  acted 
as    assistant   surgeon,   administering  the  chloroform 
and   supplying  all   instant  requirements.     She    then 
nursed   Mrs.    McDougall   to  recovery  with  the  help 
of   Nurse    Mackinnon,   and    had    the  satisfaction   of 
seeing  the  good  woman  look  better  than  before  her 
illness.     July  was  spent  in  constant  visits  and  deeds 
of  mercy;    her   home   occupations    were    gardening, 
sewing,   reading.      She  was    besides    writing    out  a 
detailed   narrative   of   her  whole  acquaintance   with 
Dr.    Bishop,   her  married   life,   his  long  illness,  and 
his  death.     To  this  she  added  the  many  tributes  to 
his  rare   character  received   from    all    parts    of   the 
world.     The   "  people "  were  in    Ulva    Cottage,  and 
much   with  her,  and  Tobermory  was  crowded  with 
summer  visitors,  who  found  their  way  to  The  Cottage. 
Only  two  excursions  are  recorded — one  to  Loch  Ba 
to  take  tea   on   its   shore,   the   other  to  Calgary  for 
three  days.     But  in  August    she  went   to  Tiree  to 
spend   some  days  with    Mrs.    Macdiarmid,    and   her 
account  of  this  visit,  in  a  letter  to  Professor  Blackie, 
is    too    interesting    to    be    omitted.      Ceaseless    bad 
weather  had   delayed   her  from   risking  the  difficult 
landing  at  Scarinish  Bay,  although  her  bag  was  ready 
packed  for  ten  days;  at  last,  on   August  20,  it  was 
possible.     Tiree  was  in  a  state  of  uproar ;  the  land- 
leaguers  were  busy  and  angry ;  some  of  the  members 
had   been   evicted  and  they  were  holding  a  meeting 
to  hear  the  ousted  tenants  speak  upon  their  wrongs. 

From  the  wild,  difficult  landing-place,  the  white 
tents  of  the  camp,  "the  thin  red  line  of  the  marines, 
and  the  gleam  of  bayonets  looked  most  singular. 

1 80  LOSS  [CHAP,  vin 

The  Tiree  men,  magnified  in  the  mist,  looked  gigantic, 
appalling.  They  are  really  children  of  Anak.  I  never 
saw  such  a  tall  and  massive  race.  There  was  a 
singular  rabble  on  shore — policemen,  special  cor- 
respondents, commissariat  officials,  camp  doctors, 
bluejackets  from  the  troop-ship,  all  awaiting  the 
mail.  I  suppose  •  it  is  now  much  like  some  of  the 
least  disturbed  parts  of  Ireland.  The  factor's  life  has 
been  threatened,  and  the  people  yelled  round  his 
house  "  Remember  Lord  Leitrim."  [Mr.  Macdiarmid 
was  the  factor.]  Those  who  won't  join  the  League 
receive  threatening  letters  with  coffins  on  them,  and 
many  are  boycotted.  A  sort  of  mild  reign  of  terror 
seems  to  prevail.  The  island  looks  pretty  on  a 
bright  day,  intensely  white  sands,  long  stretches  of 
sward  as  fine  and  smooth  as  the  finest  English  lawn, 
all  surrounded  by  a  sea  in  which  brilliant  blue  is 
mingled  with  bands  and  splotches  of  deep  purple 
and  violet.  It  is  the  most  prosperous  looking  part 
of  the  Highlands  and  Islands  that  I  have  seen — men 
and  women  in  such  substantial  home-spun  clothing, 
the  children  so  well  dressed,  strong  and  handsome. 

She  stayed  in  Tobermory  all  September,  leaving 
for  October  and  November  and  returning  to  spend 
three  more  months  in  "  the  beloved  little  home  on 
the  wooded  edge  of  the  moorland  above  the  Northern 
Sea,"  as  she  had  called  it  in  one  of  her  letters  from 
The  Golden  Chersonese.  Early  in  November  she 
travelled  to  Bristol  to  pay  a  brief  visit  to  Mrs.  Merttins 
Bird  at  Westbury,  where  Dr.  Bishop's  first  serious 
break-down  occurred,  and  where  four  months  of  1883 
had  been  spent.  Mr.  Murray  asked  her  for  a  con- 
tribution to  his  Magazine,  and  from  Westbury  she 
wrote  on  November  5,  1886  : 

Dr.  Grainger  Stewart  has  forbidden  me  to  think 
of  literary  work  for  four  months.  You  will  not 
therefore  think  me  ungracious  for  my  non-appearance 
at  present  in  your  forth-coming  Magazine.  In  looking 
over  the  contents  of  a  trunk  lately,  I  found  the 
enclosed,  which,  if  it  be  suitable,  make  use  of. 

i886]      "PSYCHOLOGICAL  FRAGMENT"        181 

The  manuscript  was  accepted  and  printed  in  the 
March  number  of  Murray's  Magazine.  It  is  a  singular 
record  in  poetry  of  her  subconscious  experiences 
during  the  first  moments  of  the  action  of  chloroform, 
and  we  may  date  the  incident  as  belonging  to  June  i, 
1885,  when  she  underwent  an  operation  for  which 
the  anaesthetic  was  employed.  She  was  so  impressed 
by  her  vision  that  she  wrote  a  prose  account  of  it 
while  it  was  still  vivid  in  her  recollection,  and  this 
she  followed  in  her  poem,  whose  sub-title  is  "  A 
Psychological  Fragment."  It  describes  at  first 
exquisite  peace  thronged  with  sunny  memories  from 
earliest  childhood,  then  "  a  brief  and  bitter  agony " 
in  the  hour  of  parting  between  soul  and  body.  Her 
spirit  looked  on  the  "  cold,  expressionless,  pitiful  log  " 
of  her  body,  and  thrilled  with  the  joy  of  freedom 
from  mortality.  It  soared  to  seek— 

The  fiery  throne 

On  which  sits  "  the  High  and  Lofty  One," 
And,  with  eye  undazzled  by  the  light, 
To  gaze  on  the  glory  infinite, 
And  shining  host  of  Seraphim 
And  veiled  face  of  Cherubim. 

But,  alas  !  the  poor  soul  failed  to  attain,  for  suddenly, 
"at  the  moment  when  anaesthesia  became  complete," 
there  was — 

Darkness  where  light  should  be  ! 
Nothing  where  I  should  see 
The  great,  thrice-holy  Three  ! 

Returning  through  London  she  visited  St.  Mary's 
Hospital  with  a  view  to  future  plans,  and  was  rest- 
lessly occupied  for  some  time.  The  Birds  had 
always  called  such  busy  days  "hard-hunted"  and 
the  word  occurs  frequently  at  this  time  in  her  diary. 

All  December  she  was  amongst  her   Tobermory 

1 82  LOSS  [CHAP,  vin 

friends,  out  in  all  weathers,  working  at  home,  writing 
and  nursing.  Before  Christmas  she  spent  two  whole 
days  making  up  and  posting  parcels  of  gifts.  On 
December  22  she  wrote  to  Lady  Middleton  : 

I  prefer  to  spend  this  time  alone  in  this  weird 
fashion,  on  the  edge  of  the  moorland  above  the  sea,  to 
anything  else.  I  think  of  remaining  here  till  the  first 
anniversary  of  my  husband's  death,  March  6,  is  past, 
when  I  purpose  to  go  into  St.  Mary's  Hospital,  Padding- 
ton,  for  three  months.  Then  I  think  of  paying  a  few 
visits,  and  possibly  in  the  earlv  autumn  I  may  go  and 
visit  medical  missions  in  Northern  India.  My  inclina- 
tion is  never  again  to  cross  the  Channel,  but  this  is 
urged  upon  me,  and  I  wish  to  found  a  memorial 
hospital  to  my  husband  in  connection  with  a  medical 
mission  to  which  he  was  devoted  to  the  end. 

The  year  1887  began  with  heavy  rain,  but  nothing 
deterred  her  from  her  rounds — visiting  the  sick, 
helping  the  poor,  making  soup  and  puddings  for 
her  invalids,  giving  lessons  at  home  to  a  number 
of  young  people  in  French,  drawing,  and  the  use 
of  the  sewing-machine.  Sometimes  she  walked 
round  the  bay  to  Aros  House,  to  visit  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Allan  ;  this  was  generally  on  dark  and  stormy  winter 
afternoons,  when  she  would  arrive  drenched,  would 
take  off  her  water-proof  and  long  snow-boots  and 
would  sit  at  the  ingle-neuk  drinking  tea  and  talking 
delightfully  till  it  was  time  to  walk  home  again. 
When  she  went  to  lunch,  she  rowed  herself  across 
the  bay,  tied  her  boat  to  the  tiny  pier,  and  walked 
up  to  the  house. 

Her  costume  shocked  some  of  the  good  Tobermory 
people,  and  indeed  it  was  adapted  rather  for  con- 
venience than  beauty.  A  servant  lassie,  listening 
to  her  praises  from  her  mistress,  who  descanted  on 
the  courage  with  which  she  overcame  the  difficulties 

i887]  AT  THE  COTTAGE  183 

of  travelling  amongst  half-savage  peoples,  said  scorn- 
fully, "  It's  no  wonder  she  gets  through — no  one 
would  look  at  her."  "  What  do  you  mean  ? "  said 
her  mistress.  "  No  man  would  run  away  with  her ; 
the  very  black  mans  would  not  want  her,  she's  so 
ugly."  It  was  a  tremendous  indictment,  and  to  those 
who  remember  her  charm  and  dignity  at  home  and 
with  her  friends  somewhat  astonishing.  But  an 
ulster  made  like  a  man's,  a  rather  weather-beaten 
hat,  and  big  snow-boots  conceal  charm  and  dignity, 
qualities  which  the  Highland  lassie  associated  with 
Sunday  frocks  and  bonnets.  Badarroch  was  a 
favourite  resting-place  and  occurs  constantly  in  her 
diary  as  the  scene  of  pleasant  hours  spent  with  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  MacLachlan.  "  Visitors  all  day  "  is  a  frequent 
entry,  and  sometimes  "  made  calls  in  all  parts  of  the 
village."  Her  French  and  drawing  classes  were 
held  on  alternate  days.  Mr.  John  Macdonald,  who 
was  at  Heanish  .with  his  parents  before  leaving  for 
Egypt  to  take  up  a  medical  appointment  there, 
benefited  by  the  French  lessons.  Sometimes  the 
students  stayed  to  tea  and  read  poetry  with  Mrs. 

About  the  end  of  February,  fatigue  brought  on 
a  short  spinal  attack,  but  she  got  over  it  quickly, 
and  pursued  her  beneficent  activity  until  March  22, 
when  she  left  for  Edinburgh.  A  long  letter  to  Mrs. 
Macdiarmid,  written  on  March  10,  mentions  the 
three  sad  anniversaries — of  her  husband's  death, 
his  burial,  and  their  marriage — through  which  she 
had  just  passed  "  alone  with  God."  The  rest  of  its 
pages  are  full  of  helpful  suggestions  for  a  "  Teacher's 
Class,"  which  Mrs.  Macdiarmid  had  begun  in  Tiree, 
and  of  advice  and  prescriptions  for  a  case  of  anaemia. 

There  was  another  matter  about  which  she  was 

1 84  LOSS  [CHAP.  VIH 

much  concerned  that  spring.  Her  sister  had  always 
been  distressed  by  the  drunkenness  in  Tobermory 
and  had  helped  to  keep  up  a  Band  of  Hope  amongst 
the  children.  Mrs.  Bishop  felt  deeply  the  importance 
of  temperance  work,  but  upon  being  asked  by  Mr. 
Levack  to  speak  at  a  Band  of  Hope  meeting  in 
January,  1887,  she  wrote: 

Your  note  puts  me  into  a  great  difficulty.  I  am  deeply 
interested  in  temperance  work,  but,  not  being  a  pledged 
abstainer,  I  feel  that  to  speak  at  temperance,  or  rather 
total  abstinence,  meetings  is  hardly  honest.  As  the 
matter  stands,  I  never  touch  spirits,  and  for  the  last 
ten  years  I  have  not  taken  wine  as  a  beverage,  and 
for  the  last  three  not  at  all  except  twice,  when  I  took 
it  for  three  weeks  at  a  time,  for  weakness  of  the  heart 
caused  by  rheumatism,  and  shall  probably  have  to  take 
it  again.  I  am  abstaining  now,  but  it  is  against  the 
doctor's  positive  orders.  Again,  I  do  not  regard  the 
taking  of  wine,  or  beer,  in  moderation  at  meals  as 
wrong.  Abstinence  I  only  regard  as  essential  for  the 
present  distress  and  as  a  part  of  the  "  bearing  one 
another's  burdens "  (by  those  who  are  not  in  circum- 
stances of  temptation)  to  which  as  Christians  we  are 
bound.  I  must  now  leave  the  matter  to  you,  merely 
adding  that  I  cannot  be  at  the  Hall  to  speak — or  not— 
till  8.30. 

As  a  matter  of  fact  she  did  speak  at  the  meeting, 
and  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  this  was  her  first 
public  address.  She  was  very  shy  when  speaking 
to  children  both  upon  this  and  other  occasions. 
She  had  not  the  natural  facility  for  entertaining 
them  remarkable  in  her  sister,  but  she  now  set 
herself  to  overcome  this  reluctance  and  timidity 
and  frequently  accepted  invitations  to  address  the 
Band  of  Hope.  Mr.  Levack  writes : 

When  she  was  fairly  started  and  had  caught  their 
attention  by  wonderful  tales  of  what  she  had  seen 

i887]  Y.W.C.A.  185 

in  far-off  lands,  her  courage  rose  and  she  was  in  her 
element,  the  young  people  engrossed  in  her  talk  and 
responding  most  enthusiastically. 

Perhaps  it  was  on  this  occasion  that  she  told  them 
about  Mr.  Low's  monkeys  at  Kwala  Kangsa  in  the 
Malay  Peninsula,  one  of  whom  seized  a  long  glass 
full  of  champagne  at  dinner  and  drank  the  wine 
before  the  glass  could  be  taken  from  him— the  wine 
mounting  to  his  head  at  once,  so  that  he  had  to 
stagger  to  a  sofa  and  lie  down.  "  If  drunkenness 
were  not  a  loathsome  human  vice,"  she  wrote 
when,  describing  the  scene,  "  it  would  have  been 
most  amusing  to  see  it  burlesqued  by  this  ape." 

Lady  Victoria  Campbell  was  district  referee  for  the 
Young  Women's  Christian  Association,  and  wished 
to  form  a  branch  for  the  Western  Islands.  She  paid 
a  visit  to  The  Cottage,  and  secured  Mrs.  Bishop's 
co-operation.  What  especially  attracted  Mrs.  Bishop 
to  the  proposal  was  the  hope  that  a  brightly  conducted 
branch  might  not  only  interest  and  concentrate  the 
lives  of  many  young  women  in  Tobermory,  but 
might  attract  girls  who  grew  too  old  for  the  Band 
of  Hope,  and,  by  filling  their  leisure  evenings  with 
pleasant  and  profitable  occupation,  destroy  the  attrac- 
tion of  idleness,  gossip,  and  their  perils.  She  there- 
fore willingly  consented  to  form  the  branch,  and 
had  completed  many  preliminary  arrangements  when 
she  left  Tobermory  on  March  22.  Miss  MacCallum 
was  made  the  first  secretary,  and  it  was  arranged 
that  she  should  draw  up  a  list  of  all  young  women 
who  wished  to  join,  so  that  the  work  might  begin 
in  autumn. 

On  April  i  she  went  to  London,  and  took 
rooms  in  Oxford  Terrace,  to  be  near  St.  Mary's 
Hospital,  Paddington,  where  she  purposed  to  take  a 

1 86  LOSS  [CHAP,  viii 

three  months'  course  of  training  in  nursing.  She 
was  allowed  to  choose  somewhat  exceptional  instruc- 
tion. Her  experience  at  Tobermory  guided  her 
choice  of  the  casualty  wards  and  the  operating 
theatres  rather  than  of  the  wards  where  medical 
cases  were  treated.  She  spent  from  six  to  ten  hours 
daily  in  the  hospital,  going  at  nine  in  the  morning 
and  leaving  at  from  three  to  seven  and  eight  o'clock 
in  the  evening.  Sometimes  she  rested  for  a  few 
hours  in  the  afternoon,  and  spent  the  whole  night 
nursing,  or  assisting  to  nurse,  a  bad  case.  Surgical 
and  eye  cases  occupied  her  chiefly.  She  learned  to 
make  and  use  splints,  bandages  (both  of  linen  and 
plaster),  to  dress  wounds,  even  to  put  up  "  a  man's 
leg  in  plaster,"  watched  operations — sometimes  two 
in  a  day— amputations,  hernia,  trephining,  tumours, 
and  took  single-handed  work  often  for  many  hours. 

And  in  spite  of  all  this,  she  dined  out  constantly 
with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Murray,  Bishop  Perry,  Canon 
Cook,  Sir  E.  Sieveking,  Sir  Edwin  Arnold,  and  many 
others.  One  brief  respite  she  snatched  in  May  to 
visit  Mrs.  George  Brown  at  Houghton,  returning 
after  four  days  to  St.  Mary's,  and  adding  to  her 
work  not  only  many  missionary  meetings,  but  the 
search  for  a  house  in  London — a  long  and  dis- 
appointing "hunt."  She  fixed  upon  44  Maida  Vale, 
but  it  required  considerable  repair,  so  that  some 
months  elapsed  before  she  could  furnish  it.  This 
step  was  urged  upon  her  both  by  her  English  rela- 
tives and  friends,  and  by  her  own  desire  to  be 
nearer  the  centre  of  the  intellectual  and  religious 
movements  of  the  day. 

Edinburgh  was  a  place  of  saddest  reminders,  and 
these  were  apt  to  unfit  her  for  the  life  of^unselfish 
activity  to  which  she  was  now  pledged.  She  had 

i887]  WORK  IN   LONDON  187 

always  been  open  to  the  action  of  her  environment. 
Much  that  seemed,  and  indeed  was,  conflicting  in 
her  character  was  due  to  this  wealth  of  sympathetic 
response  to  her  immediate  circumstances.  She  heard 
keenly,  and  vibrated  deeply  to  every  note  in  the  scale 
of  human  character,  suffering,  and  emotion.  She 
placed  herself  intuitively  at  the  standpoint  of  those 
in  contact  with  her,  assenting  to  their  views,  their 
prejudices,  their  enthusiasms.  There  was  often 
apparent  contradiction  in  her  stated  estimates  and 
opinions,  due  to  the  fact  that  each  of  these  repre- 
sented but  one  facet  of  the  whole  crystal  of  truth,  and 
was  the  response  made  by  her  many-sided  sympathy 
to  one  particular  mind  or  special  environment. 

She  was  aware  of  her  tendency  to  be  attracted  by 
the  disturbing  magnetism  of  humanity,  and  she  longed 
for  a  definite  sphere  in  which  she  could  concentrate 
her  forces  for  active  work.  London  seemed  best  for 
this  purpose,  and  she  decided  to  try  the  experiment 
of  making  her  home  there.  Her  thoughts,  too,  were 
filled  with  a  matter  of  great  importance  to  herself. 
Dr.  Bishop's  concern  to  promote  medical  missions 
has  been  already  indicated.  Even  during  his  pro- 
tracted illness  he  had  lost  no  opportunity  of  urging 
their  value.  His  personal  friend,  Dr.  Torrance,  at 
Nazareth,  was  much  hindered  in  his  work  because  his 
patients  from  outlying  districts  could  not  be  kept 
directly  under  his  care.  Mrs.  Bishop  desired  to 
carry  out  her  husband's  wish  that  a  hospital  should 
be  built  at  Nazareth.  About  this  project,  destined 
unfortunately  to  fail,  she  writes  to  Mrs.  Blackie : 

I  purpose  to  put  up  as  a  memorial  to  my  husband 
a  hospital  of  twelve  beds  in  connection  with  a  medical 
mission.  The  demand  for  one  at  Nazareth  is  great; 
the  surgical  cases  gome  to  the  doctor  in  numbers 

1 88  LOSS  [CHAP,  vm 

from  Judea  and  Galilee,  and  even  from  the  confines 
of  the  desert,  and  he  has  to  send  some  away,  and 
to  treat  others  in  dark  mud-hovels.  So,  if  the 
Turkish  Government  will  consent,  I  purpose  to  put 
up  the  memorial  there  fully  equipped^  sending  it  out 
in  pieces  from  England.  Wherever  it  is,  I  wish  to 
qualify  myself  for  giving  some  help  at  the  beginning. 
John's  profound  interest  in  medical  missions,  and 
his  years  of  persevering  work  in  connection  with 
them,  makes  me  decide  upon  such  a  hospital  as 
the  most  fitting  monument  I  could  put  up. 

Her  work  at  St.  Mary's  Hospital  went  on  till  the 
end  of  July.  An  interesting  correspondence  with 
Mr.  Murray  belongs  to  this  summer  in  town.  It 
was  the  critical  time  of  the  Irish  troubles  and  the 
Plan  of  Campaign.  English  public  opinion  was 
notably  ignorant  of  the  real  state  of  matters  below 
the  surface.  It  was  split  into  two  almost  equally 
hysterical  and  rancorous  cries,  and  the  action  of  the 
Plan  of  Campaign  increased  the  violence  and  obscured 
the  discernment  on  both  sides.  Mr.  Murray  hoped 
that  a  series  of  articles  written  from  the  disaffected 
districts  of  Ireland  by  a  tactful  inquirer  and  observer 
would  to  some  extent  inform  the  public  mind.  He 
asked  Mrs.  Bishop  to  accept  the  risk  of  personally 
visiting  these  disturbed  regions,  knowing  how  much 
she  preferred  a  spice  of  hazard  to  tame  and  com- 
fortable adventure.  He  wished  her  to  hear  all  that 
the  people  could  be  won  to  admit  of  their  actual 
needs  and  wishes,  and  begged  her  to  think  the 
matter  over. 

I  feel  dubious  [she  replied]  about  my  power  of 
ingratiating  myself  with  the  Irish  peasantry  to  such 
an  extent  as  to  win  the  confidence  of  individuals 
among  them.  Perhaps,  however,  if  I  tried  and  failed 
it  would  be  worth  something  to  fail  in  a  good  cause;, 

,887]  BANCHORY  189 

But  for  the  moment  she  either  lacked  the  literary 
impulse  or  was  absorbed  by  the  encroaching  interests 
of  her  nursing  work,  her  new  home,  with  its  pre- 
paratory renovations,  and  her  correspondence  about 
the  hospital  at  Nazareth— and  the  proposal  was 
temporarily  put  aside. 

When  July  ended  she  went  to  Scotland  with 
Miss  Clayton,  and  rested  peacefully  for  a  month  at 

We  lead  a  very  quiet  life  [she  wrote  to  Mrs. 
Macdiarmid]  ;  we  write  letters  in  the  same  room  in 
the  morning;  work,  walk,  or  drive  in  the  afternoon; 
take  tea  at  seven ;  and  at  8.30  B.  reads  Bishop  Thirl- 
wall's  letters  aloud  while  we  work. 

Her  sewing  was  on  a  travelling  outfit,  for  visions 
of  the  East  were  present  with  her,  and  she  was 
quietly  preparing  for  their  realisation.  She  mentions 
having  taken  the  new  house  in  this  letter  : 

I  wonder  if  you  have  heard  that  I  have  taken  a 
house  in  London.  Should  I  ever  settle  there,  I  want 
to  make  it  a  hotel  for  my  friends.  I  hope  you  will 
come  to  me  there.  I  cannot  bear  to  be  in  Edinburgh. 
I  find  the  anguish  of  bereavement  and  loneliness 
harder  to  bear  there  than  anywhere.  I  do  not 
purpose  to  occupy  my  house  at  present. 

Afterwards  Mrs.  Bishop  went  to  Tobermory, 
where  she  found  much  to  do.  Lady  Victoria  Camp- 
bell came  to  The  Cottage  in  late  September  to  set 
agoing  the  Western  Islands  branch  of  the  Y.W.C.A. 
The  visit  was  a  pleasant  one  to  both  hostess  and 
guest,  who  spoke  of  the  "Cot"  and  its  garden  as 
"  Paradise."  Mrs.  Bishop  had  just  renewed  the  lease, 
its  walls  were  freshly  papered,  its  borders  were  gay 
with  autumn  flowers.  Lady  Victoria  addressed  a 
meeting  in  the  Temperance  Hall,  held  a  consultation 

190  LOSS  [CHAP,  vm 

with    the    local    ministers,   and    paved    the  way  for 
launching  this  useful  venture. 

On  October  6  a  meeting  was  called  to  enrol 
members  and  the  list  of  names  numbered  118. 
Mrs.  Bishop  made  some  explanatory  remarks  at  this 
meeting,  but  was  "  helplessly  nervous."  At  later 
gatherings  she  gained  sufficient  confidence  to  speak 
about  many  matters  on  which  a  young  woman's 
opinion  requires  guidance  and  about  which  it  is  well 
to  have  and  to  hold  an  intelligent  opinion. 

This  was  the  beginning  of  a  new  channel  of 
influence  for  Mrs.  Bishop  and  incidentally  of  an 
opportunity  for  practice  in  public  speaking  by  which 
she  was  rapidly  schooled.  She  could  not  possibly 
know,  in  1887,  for  what  greater  service  she  was  being 
prepared  ;  but  as  she  had  consecrated  herself  to  God, 
He  knew  and  equipped  her  for  the  future  in  the 
doing  of  His  will  in  the  present. 

On  October  8  she  left  Tobermory  for  Edinburgh, 
and  went  on  to  London  very  slowly,  paying  a  number 
of  brief  visits  on  the  way,  and  finally  landing  at 
29  Cambridge  Terrace,  where  she  had  engaged 

By  the  end  of  November  she  entered  on  possession 
of  her  new  home  in  Maida  Vale.  But  her  restless 
spirit  did  not  allow  her  to  settle  down,  and  she  left 
at  once  for  a  visit  of  ten  days  to  Miss  Clayton,  who 
was  wintering  at  Bournemouth.  Then  the  long- 
talked-of  tour  in  Ireland  seized  her  imagination 
and  she  sought  the  acquaintance  of  Nationalist 
Members  of  Parliament,  amongst  them  Mr.  Justin 
McCarthy  and  Mr.  Dillon.  Having  decided  on  the 
enterprise,  she  applied  her  experienced  judgment  to 
its  details.  It  was  palpable  that,  to  learn  anything 
from  the  people,  she  must  avoid  all  intercourse  with 

I887]  IN   IRELAND  191 

the  proprietors,  so  she  declined  introductions  to 
11  landlords "  and  accepted  many  given  by  leaders 
of  the  Nationalist  party. 

She  lunched  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Murray  on 
December  15,  meeting  Du  Chaillu,  and  left  London 
next  day  for  her  projected  tour,  after  a  long  con- 
versation with  Mr.  Dillon  on  the  previous  evening. 
She  was  away  five  weeks,  and  the  notes  which 
she  made  of  all  she  observed  furnished  material 
for  three  spirited  and  most  interesting  articles  in 
Murray's  Magazine  for  April,  May,  and  June,  1888. 

Two  letters  to  Mr.  Murray  give  a  resume  of 
her  adventures.  In  one,  dated  from  Mitchelstown, 
December  29,  she  wrote  : 

I  have  learned  that   if  one  visits  at  a  landlord's 
house  in  Ireland,  one  may  give  up  hope  of  getting 
anything  out   of  the   people.     So   far — i.e.   as   far  as 
I   can  judge — I   have   found  wonderful   frankness  as 
to  their  circumstances  and  views  among  the  peasant 
farmers  and  their  district  leaders.     In  fact,  an  English 
person  roughing  it  as  I  am   doing  is   most  warmly 
welcomed.     I    went    to    Louth    to    the    Massareene 
estate,  saw   Mr.   Smith    Barry's  rent  audit,  and  then 
went  to  Arklow  and  its  neighbourhood,  where  I  spent 
one  day  among  sixty-three  evicted  tenants  and  their 
priests  and  saw  the  monthly  allowances  given  under 
the   "  Plan   of  Campaign."    Thence   back   to   Dublin 
and  to  Waterford  and  yesterday  here,  where  I  have 
seen  and  heard  a  good  deal.     This  is  the  Kingstown 
estate.    Within  a  few  yards  of  my  window  are  three 
crosses  let  into  the  road,  which  mark  the  three  lives 
taken   by  the  police.     Late  last  night   I   went  with 
the   Protestant  clergyman  to  the  police-barrack  and 
heard  the  story  of  poor  Constable  Leahy,  who  still 
lies  helpless  in   bed   from  the  effect  of  his  wounds. 
The  hardships  of  travelling  in  this  weather  are  great. 
Eleven  miles  here  on  a  mail-car  over  a  bleak  hill-road 
in  the  snow,  and  the  same  to-night ;  thin,  damp  beds 
and   bedrooms  without   fireplaces,   and   no  fire  any- 
where except  in  the  commercial-room.     At  Arklow 

192  LOSS  [CHAP,  vm 

the  inn  was  shut,  and  my  night's  lodging  was  truly 
damp  and  miserable.  The  only  fire  was  in  a  room 
tenanted  by  some  of  Mr.  Parnell's  cjuarrymen  !  You 
will  be  glad  to  think  that  you  did  not  ask  me  to 
come  at  this  season. 

On  her  way  home  she  diverged  to  Ford  Hall  in 
Derbyshire  to  stay  a  few  days  with  Mrs.  Greaves 
Bagshawe,  and  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  on  January  28, 

My  health  improved  very  much  in  Ireland.  1 
became  more  vigorous  and  enterprising  daily  towards 
the  end  of  the  time,  and  finished  by  a  three  days'  car- 
drive  through  Connemara  and  by  Cong  to  Claremorris 
in  Mayo.  It  is  rather  a  sad  fact — but  rough  knocking 
about,  open-air  life,  in  combination  with  sufficient 
interest,  is  the  one  in  which  my  health  and  spirits 
are  the  best.  So  you  have  no  need  to  reproach 
yourself,  my  kind  friend,  with  the  share  you  have 
had  in  my  Irish  journey. 

The  three  articles  contain  the  impressions  made 
upon  a  singularly  impartial  mind  by  the  incidents 
of  that  tour.  They  are  impressionist  only,  and  aim 
at  giving  unbiassed  evidence  of  just  those  incidents 
and  opinions  which  she  encountered,  without  personal 
animus  or  prepossession.  They  form  indeed  strong 
corroboration  of  what  has  been  already  suggested  as 
to  her  comprehensive  and  comprehending  sympathy. 



MRS.  BISHOP  included  amongst  her  plans  the  use  of 
her  house  in  London  as  an  invalid  home.  One  of 
her  first  visitors,  therefore,  was  a  Derbyshire  farmer, 
whom  she  persuaded  during  her  residence  at  Ford 
Hall  to  become  an  out-patient  at  St.  Mary's  Hospital. 
When  she  returned  to  44  Maida  Vale,  on  February  2, 
it  was  to  prepare  for  his  arrival ;  and  we  find  her 
staining  and  varnishing  floors  with  her  own  hands, 
laying  carpets  and  wax-cloth,  hanging  pictures,  and 
engaging  servants.  One  of  the  latter  was  the  widow 
of  her  late  caretaker,  who  died  of  apoplexy  during 
her  absence  in  Ireland.  It  was  with  this  shadow 
on  the  very  threshold,  and  with  a  persistent  mis- 
giving at  her  heart,  that  she  set  herself  to  live  in 
London.  A  patient  from  the  East-end  occupied  one 
of  the  bedrooms.  She  was  still  attending  St.  Mary's, 
taking  lessons  there  in  ambulance  work,  and  at  home 
she  was  occupied  with  her  Irish  notes. 

She  made  Dr.  Munro  Gibson's  acquaintance,  and 
being  greatly  grieved  at  the  incoming  tide  of  ritualism 
in  her  own  beloved  church,  she  chose  his  ministry  as 
the  most  helpful  and  congenial  in  her  neighbour- 
hood. She  was  constantly  dining  out,  and  passed 
few  hours  in  solitude ;  but  the  sight  of  her  husband's 
belongings — books,  pictures,  furniture — their  constant 
reminder  of  his  vanished  presence,  and  something 

193  13 

194  "THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

oppressive  in  the  house  and  troublesome  in  its 
management,  roused  her  regret  that  she  had  ever 
ventured  upon  the  experiment. 

She  was  in  the  throes  of  a  collapse,  physical  and 
emotional ;  and  the  reactionary  tendency  in  the 
Church  of  England  was  to  her  a  real  and  serious 
sorrow.  In  February  she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Blackie : 

The  church  of  my  fathers  has  cast  me  out  by  means 
of  inanities,  puerilities,  music,  and  squabblings,  and  I 
go  regularly  to  a  Presbyterian  church,  where  there  is 
earnest  praying,  vigorous  preaching,  and  an  air  of 

She  was  at  this  time  in  constant  touch  with  men 
and  women  devoted  to  the  mission  fields — Mr.  James 
Mathieson,  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grattan  Guinness,  and 
others.  She  had  been  urged  to  go  up  the  Congo 
to  visit  the  Baptist  mission  stations  in  Central 
Africa,  and  but  for  the  persistent  call  from  the  East, 
she  might  have  perilled  her  life  in  doing  so.  But 
Africa  had  no  attraction  for  her,  and  she  was  long- 
ing to  place  her  husband's  memorial  hospital  at 
Nazareth,  and  to  go  out  herself,  qualified  and 
equipped,  to  organise  its  nursing  staff.  Magnetised 
by  the  labours,  sacrifices,  and  successes  of  her 
Baptist  friends,  she  took  an  otherwise  inexplicable 
step  in  February.  On  her  way  from  Ford  she  had 
halted  at  Cliff  College,  where  Dr.  Grattan  Guinness 
superintended  the  training  of  students  from  Harley 
House,  not  in  theological  study  alone,  but  also  in 
the  technical  arts  important  to  pioneer  missionary 
effort — carpentry,  gardening,  building — as  well  as  in 
evangelistic  visiting  and  preaching  throughout  the 
neighbourhood  of  Bakewell.  Here  the  impression 
made  upon  her  by  the  whole-heartedness  of  Baptist 
work  was  deepened,  and  she  took  counsel  with 

,888]  IMMERSION  195 

Dr.  Guinness  as  to  the  possibility  of  consecrating 
herself  to  the  missionary  cause  in  the  ceremony  of 
immersion  without  joining  the  Baptist  body.  A  great 
longing  for  the  baptism  of  the  Spirit  had  come  over 
her,  and  she  hoped  to  receive  it  in  all  its  fulness  by 
obedience  to  the  example  of  Christ,  whose  ministry 
was  initiated  by  the  rite  of  immersion.  Mr.  Spurgeon 
consented  to  admit  her  to  this  on  the  evening  of 
February  23.  Three  days  later  she  wrote  to  Mrs. 
Macdonald : 

It  was  a  comfort  to  me  on  Thursday  night,  in 
the  solemn  loneliness  in  which  I  went  through  the 
ordinance  of  baptism,  to  feel  that  you  and  Miss  Brown 
and  the  Guinnesses  were  praying  for  me.  I  seemed 
to  realise  the  presence  of  the  Lord  up  to  the  moment 
when  I  went  down  into  the  water,  and  then  a  wave  of 
nervousness  separated  me  from  Him.  Eighteen  were 
baptized  at  the  same  time.  Mr.  Spurgeon  preached 
on  "Jesus  Christ,  the  same  yesterday,  to-day,  and  for 
ever."  It  cost  me  a  good  deal  to  take  this  step,  and 
the  night  and  the  chapel  and  the  dress  were  all  so 
fearfully  cold  that  it  truly  seemed  "  burial."  To  walk 
in  newness  of  life  is  my  great  desire,  but  how  to 
accomplish  it  I  know  not.  I  pray  Him  to  accomplish 
it  for  me. 

This  letter  is  filled  with  cares  about  and  on  behalf  of 
her  dear  Tobermory  people,  orders  for  their  comfort, 
providing  food  and  firing  for  the  neediest  amongst  them. 
Her  mind  dwelt  on  the  Young  Women's  Christian 
Association  meetings,  and  she  was  consulting  London 
secretaries  of  the  various  metropolitan  branches  as 
to  ways  of  dealing  with  their  members — their  advice 
being  summed  up  in  the  need  of  "  a  loving,  sisterly, 
cordial  manner,  making  the  friend  more  prominent 
than  the  official" 

Her  distress  of  mind  lasted  till  spring;  the  house 
in  Maida  Vale  became  unendurable.  Her  plan  of 

196  "THROUGH    MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

filling  its  many  rooms  with  invalids  fell  through, 
because  strength  in  nursing  failed  her.  Something 
of  the  old  invincible  melancholy  overcame  her. 

I  surrounded  myself  with  my  relics,  thinking  that 
I  might  find  a  sort  of  ghostly  companionship  in  them, 
and  that  I  might  make  my  house  useful  in  entertaining 
guests,  who  could  not  "  recompense  "  me.  Both  these 
plans  have  failed — the  relics  mock  me,  and  the  guests 
are  too  great  a  fatigue.  So  I  am  now  hoping  to  get 
rid  of  my  house  in  May,  and  to  sell  my  Eastern  curious 
works  of  art  to  help  me  to  build  a  surgical  ward  in 
the  projected  hospital  at  Nazareth.  The  cottage  at 
Tobermory  will  then  be  home,  if  any  place  can  be 
home  to  one  so  frightfully  bereft. 

This  occurs  in  a  letter  to  Lady  Middleton,  dated 
March  8,  and  on  the  following  day  she  wrote  to 
Mrs.  Macdonald : 

I  see  who  it  is  that  is  hedging  my  way  with  thorns, 
and  I  pray  more  and  more  earnestly  that  if  I  am  in  the 
wrong  way  here,  He  will  show  me  the  right  way 
and  give  me  to  walk  in  it  at  any  sacrifice,  and  I  think 
I  see  a  great  one  in  prospect.  ...  I  feel  indescribably 
sad,  sinking  in  deep  waters.  Pray  for  me,  dear  friend, 
that  God's  discipline  may  not  fail  of  its  purpose — sepa- 
ration from  the  world  and  complete  surrender  to  Him. 

These  letters  were  written  during  the  week  of  the 
anniversaries  of  her  husband's  death  and  funeral  and 
of  their  marriage.  Anniversaries  meant  very  much  to 
her;  they  were  pegs  on  which  to  hang  her  most 
cherished  memories— memories  with  which  she  was 
wont  to  wrap  herself  about  as  with  a  garment,  when 
their  dates  recurred. 

I  think  that  these  two  months  have  been  the  most 
anguished  of  my  life  [she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid]; 
my  health  has  broken  down  and  my  body  no  longer 
seconds  my  spirit,  and  debars  me  wholly  not  only  from 
using  my  home  as  I  hoped  to  use  it,  but  from  doing 

i888]  HOUSEHOLD  CARES  197 

the  outside  work  I  hoped  to  do.  The  blessing  is  that 
I  can  see  that  the  discipline  is  all  right,  and  that  it  was 

She  persisted  in  her  ambulance  lessons  till  Easter, 
when  she  went  to  Miss  Clayton  at  Bournemouth,  and 
found  her  faithful  friend  in  much-impaired  health. 
Just  before  leaving  town  she  secured  a  tenant  for 
her  house  in  Mr.  J.  L.  Toole,  the  well-known  actor, 
who  agreed  to  take  over  her  lease  from  the  June 
term.  This  removed  one  anxiety,  and  on  her  return 
she  set  herself  gradually  to  dismantle  the  home,  of 
which  she  had  made  so  brief  a  use.  In  truth,  unrest 
had  seized  upon  her,  and  she  mistook  its  fever  for 
the  misery  of  solitude.  Household  cares  weighed 
heavily  upon  her,  and  were  prone  to  irritate  her  to 
the  point  of  renouncing  them  altogether.  Only  at  The 
Cottage  could  she  support  their  recurrence,  and  that 
because  they  were  there  reduced  to  a  minimum,  not 
only  in  number,  but  in  kind.  And  there,  too,  her 
neighbours  bore  her  burden  for  her  to  so  great  an 
extent  that  she  was  spared  all  the  worst  annoyances  of 
housekeeping.  Gardening  was  her  recreation  there- 
provisioning  the  larder  was  to  a  great  extent  the 
care  of  others.  Her  guests  used  to  be  amazed  at 
the  daily  procession  of  tribute-bearers,  with  fish, 
eggs,  butter,  honey,  home-made  bread,  delicious 
cakes,  fowls,  game,  and  fruit  to  replenish  her  stores 
morning  and  evening.  The  warm  hearts  about  her 
repaid  with  such  affectionate  ministration  all  that 
she  did  for  their  intellectual  and  bodily  health,  for 
the  careers  of  their  sons  and  daughters,  for  her 
fellow-feeling  in  all  their  joys  and  sorrows.  When 
her  servant  was  ill  the  neighbours  did  her  work ; 
they  looked  after  the  cottage  in  her  absence,  saw 
to  repairs,  to  changes,  to  sowing  seeds  and  planting 

198  "THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

roses.  No  wonder  that  she  counted  the  weeks  till 
she  was  free  to  go  back  to  them.  In  the  meantime 
she  sent  a  long  letter  to  be  read  at  the  meeting 
of  the  Y.W.C.A.  "  I  am  trying,"  she  wrote  to  Mrs. 
Macdonald,  "  not  to  be  too  impatient  for  the  tirrie  of 
going  to  The  Cottage." 

Miss  Clayton  and  the  Miss  Kers  came  to  her  on 
May  1 8,  and  stayed  for  some  weeks.  Miss  Clayton 
was  very  ill ;  but  the  others  helped  her  to  prepare 
for  a  sale  of  the  Eastern  curios,  which  took  place  on 
June  4  and  yielded  a  fair  sum  towards  the  projected 

On  June  25  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening,  three 
hours  before  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Toole  arrived  to  take 
possession,  she  left  44  Maida  Vale — 

After  a  scrimmage  in  getting  out  of  it  which  nearly 
finished  me.  The  Japanese  things  and  the  furniture 
and  all  the  carpets  but  his  are  sold,  and  so  is  the 
silver.  The  kitchen  things  and  crockery  are  given 
away ;  two  hundred  books  are  given  to  the  University 
Union  Library  in  Edinburgh ;  all  the  pictures  except 
eight,  which  are  sold,  are  hung  in  a  friend's  house ; 
and  the  linen,  the  remaining  books,  and  his  precious 
bookshelves  are  stored. 

On  the  evening  of  the  25th  Mr.  T.  W.  Russell, 
speaking  in  the  House  of  Commons  upon  Mr.  Morley's 
motion,  referred  to  Mrs.  Bishop's  articles  on  Ireland 
in  the  following  terms  : 

The  Plan  of  Campaign  has  imposed  nameless  hard- 
ships on  the  people,  who  have  succumbed  to  it ;  and 
persons  tenderly  reared  have  had  to  herd  together 
like  swine,  in  outhouses — persons  who  told  those 
who  went  to  see  them  that  they  wished  to  see  an 
end  of  the  Plan  of  Campaign.  Let  members  read 
what  Mrs.  Bishop  said  in  Murray's  Magazine  of  people 
forced  out  of  their  comfortable  homes,  and  praying 
that  the  Plan  of  Campaign  might  come  to  an  end. 

,888]  ILLNESS  199 

After  a  few  days  at  Guildford,  she  went  to  Avenue 
Road  for  a  week,  and  then  paid  a  number  of  visits 
on  her  way  north,  halting  at  Edinburgh  before  the 
final  stage  to  The  Cottage,  which  she  reached  on 

July  31- 

In  a  letter  to  Mr.  Murray  she  describes  her  con- 

I  arrived  here  at  the  end  of  July  suffering  from 
debility,  and  in  four  days  was  seized  with  acute 
rheumatic  fever,  which  kept  me  upstairs  for  six 
weeks.  Three  weeks  in  Edinburgh  for  medical 
treatment  has  not  helped  me.  My  heart  is  found 
to  be  much  affected. 

Her  Rocky  Mountains  had  been  translated  into 
French  and  published  in  France.  She  was  contem- 
plating a  return  to  the  Rockies,  but  not  as  the 
objective  of  her  travels,  rather  as  a  stage  on  her 
way  to  the  East.  Warmer  garments  might  be 
needed  there  than  those  prepared  for  Palestine,  so, 
on  her  coming  back  to  The  Cottage,  she  began  to 
make  an  outfit  of  Jaeger  flannel,  which  occupied 
her  all  October  and  November. 

On  the  1 7th  she  went  with  Dr.  Maxwell  to  Erray 
Farm,  where  the  shepherd's  wife  was  suffering  from 
a  malignant  growth  which  involved  an  operation. 
Mrs.  Bishop  administered  the  chloroform  and  for 
some  weeks  afterwards  visited  the  doctor's  patient, 
daily  preparing  and  taking  with  her  tempting  food — 
chicken,  soup,  jelly,  arrowroot.  Another  patient 
frequently  cared  for  in  this  personal  manner  was 
Mary  Mackinnon,  who  had  severe  pleurisy  with 
effusion  that  winter.  Mrs.  Bishop  often  accompanied 
Dr.  Maxwell  in  his  duty  calls.  They  were  usually 
paid  late  at  night,  so  as  to  leave  the  patient  provided 
with  all  necessary  comfort  till  the  morning.  One  dark 

200  "THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

night,  coming  down  North  High  Street,  which  is 
now  called  Victoria  Street — to  commemorate  Queen 
Victoria's  Diamond  Jubilee — Mrs.  Bishop  stuck  fast 
in  the  deep  mud  due  to  deluges  of  rain.  One  foot 
she  managed  to  free,  but  had  to  ask  Dr.  Maxwell  to 
draw  her  other  foot  out  of  the  top-boot  which  she  was 
wearing,  and  which  she  could  not  extricate.  Weather 
formed  no  obstacle  to  her  rounds,  and  all  that  dark 
and  stormy  December  she  was  busy  amongst  her  poor 
people  again,  sometimes  from  two  till  nine  o'clock. 

She  stayed  at  The  Cottage  till  Christmas  was  past 
and  took  her  full  share  in  the  conduct  of  the  Western 
Islands  branch  of  the  Y.W.C.A.,  to  whose  members 
she  gave  several  admirable  addresses  on  successive 
Thursday  evenings.  One  of  these  was  on  "Thrift," 
another  on  "  Dress,"  a  third  on  "  Courtesy."  The 
course  was  wound  up  with  a  directly  religious  appeal, 
and  of  this  a  brief  precis  in  her  own  writing  survives, 
which  may  be  quoted : 

From  The  Cottage,  where  her  life-work  was  done, 
my  sister  ascended  to  receive  from  the  Master's  hands 
the  crown  of  glory  which  fadeth  not  away.  There 
also  my  husband  spent  his  last  summer  in  his  native 
land — ere  he,  too,  departed  to  be  with  Christ,  which 
for  him  is  far  better.  I  returned  alone,  not  to  fill  her 
place,  which  must  remain  for  ever  unfilled,  but  to  take 
up  such  fragments  of  her  work  as  I  could  do.  Now 
I  go  on  a  far  journey,  which  brings  vividly  before  me 
the  journey  which  we  must  all  take.  Each  journey 
must  be  on  two  roads,  the  one  easy  and  trod  by  many— 
the  other  rough  and  narrow  and  trod  by  few.  But  each, 
near  or  far,  is  barred  across  by  a  river  roaring  in  the 
darkness.  I  seem  to  hear  it  now  rising  and  falling, 
and  some  of  us  are  not  far  from  its  brink.  The 
darkness  hangs  over  it,  and  from  its  farther  shore  no 
mortal  has  returned.  Friends  go  down  to  it  with  us, 
but  as  we  plunge  in  we  are  lost  to  their  sight.  We 
know  little  of  the  other  side,  but  it  has  been  revealed 

i888]  FAREWELL  201 

that  a  day  of  great  awfulness  which  none  can  escape 
lies  beyond.  The  great  and  dreadful  day  of  the  Lord 
cometh  as  a  thief  in  the  night.  Each  of  us  must  see 
it  and  stand  individually  before  Him  who  once  came 
to  save  the  world  and  who  will  then  come  to  judge 
it.  ...  I  must  end  with  a  loving  farewell.  From  many 
of  you  1  have  received  years  of  generous  kindness,  and 
I  carry  your  goodness  with  me  on  my  long  journey ; 
and  you  young  people,  whom  I  have  so  gladly  met 
during  the  last  two  months — by  our  own  uncertain 
lives,  by  the  shadows  of  the  closing  year,  by  the  yearn- 
ing love  of  God  the  Father,  by  the  strong  love  even 
unto  death  of  Christ  the  Saviour,  by  the  priceless 
worth  of  the  souls  He  shed  His  blood  to  save,  by  the 
river  which  in  hope  or  fear  each  one  of  us  must  one  day 
cross,  by  the  judgment  seat  before  which  we  shall 
all  one  day  appear,  I,  who  most  surely  will  never  see 
all  your  faces  again,  beseech  you  lovingly,  you  who 
are  yet  out  of  Christ,  to  yield  to  the  pleadings  of  His 
love  and  give  yourselves  in  heart  and  life  to  Him  now 
and  for  ever,  and  may  He  who  alone  is  able  to  keep 
us  from  falling  present  us  all  faultless  before  the 
presence  of  His  glory  with  exceeding  joy  in  that 
great  day  of  His  appearing. 

On  the  morning  of  December  28,  while  the  moon 
still  shone,  she  left  for  Glasgow  to  make  arrange- 
ments with  Mr.  Dunlop  for  her  voyage  to  India. 
As  her  health  had  greatly  improved,  she  gave  up 
the  western  route  and  decided  to  travel  by  the 
Mediterranean  and  the  Red  Sea.  A  passage  including 
a  deck  cabin  was  presented  to  her  for  February  15 
in  the  Kerbela. 

In  Edinburgh  and  London  she  completed  all  her 
business  arrangements  for  a  prolonged  absence. 

I  have  been  nearly  bewildered  [she  wrote]  by  the 
number  of  things  I  have  had  to  do  and  arrange  and 
the  number  of  people  I  have  had  to  see.  Every- 
body with  w;hom  I  have  any  acquaintance  seems  to 
want  something  or  other  just  as  I  am  going  away. 
I  am  completely  overwhelmed,  and  this  coming  journey 

202  "THROUGH    MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

involves  seeing  so  many  people  and  getting  so  much 
official  advice  and  Government  help  if  it  is  to  be 

On  January  22  she  went  to  Bournemouth,  to  Miss 
Clayton,  and  wrote  thence  to  Mrs.  Macdonald  on 
the  24th  : 

Here  I  am  finishing  needlework,  arranging  my 
remaining  affairs,  answering  about  fourteen  letters 
a  day,  and  studying  India  and  Persia.  When  I  leave 
the  dear  ones  here,  I  shall  feel  as  if  the  "  bitterness 
of  death "  were  past.  The  voyage  will  be  a  strange 
time,  a  silent  interval  between  the  familiar  life  which 
lies  behind,  with  all  the  treasure  of  friendship  and 
interests  belonging  to  it,  and  the  strange  unknown 
life  which  lies  before.  I  wish  you  could  see  my 
outfit,  packed  in  four  small  boxes,  20  in.  long,  12  in. 
wide,  and  12  in.  high,  and  a  brown  waterproof  bag 
containing  a  canvas  stretcher-bed,  a  cork  mattress, 
blankets,  woollen  sheets,  a  saddle,  etc. 

That  Tibet  and  Persia  were  already  within  the 
scope  of  her  plans  is  evident  from  the  books  which 
she  was  collecting  to  read  on  the  voyage,  the  list  of 
which  included  La  Perse,  la  Chaldee,  et  la  Susiane,  by 
Madame  Dieulafoy,  and  a  bluebook  on  Tibet,  secured 
for  her  use  by  Sir  Edwin  Arnold.  On  February  15 
Mrs.  Bishop  went  on  board  the  Kerbela  and  was 
delighted  with  the  ship,  its  officers,  crew,  and 

Such  a  set  of  officers  and  passengers  I  have  never 
seen  [she  wrote  three  weeks  later]  ;  the  one  rivalry  is 
in  kindnesses  and  in  making  the  time  pass  pleasantly 
for  others,  and  every  one  is  so  bright  and  cheerful. 

She  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  from  the  Suez  Canal 
on  March  6,  1889: 

This  is  our  third  day  in  this  blazing  ditch  ;  a  simoon 
and  heavy  sand  storm,  making  it  impossible  for  the 

i889]  PORT  SAID  203 

pilot  to  see  the  beacons,  have  compelled  us  to  anchor 
for  eighteen  hours  and  have  similarly  brought  the 
whole  traffic  of  the  Canal  to  a  standstill.  We  cannot 
see  the  ship's  head  from  the  poop. 

On  the  /th  the  Kerbela  reached  Suez,  but  the  main 
theme  of  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Macdonald,  written  on  the 
loth,  refers  to  Port  Said.  Dr.  John  Macdonald  was 
resident  physician  there  at  the  hospital,  and  Mrs. 
Bishop  had  promised  his  mother  to  give  her  a  full 
account  of  their  meeting.  It  was  nearly  10  p.m. 
when  the  Kerbela  anchored  for  twelve  hours.  A 
message  to  the  hospital  miscarried,  and  after  waiting 
an  hour  Mrs.  Bishop  decided  to  venture  a  search 
in  the  dark.  The  captain  offered  to  escort  her,  so 
they  got  an  Arab  boat  and  landed.  They  passed 
through  Port  Said  and  then  ploughed  and  staggered 
through  deep  sand  and  deeper  darkness  towards  what 
they  were  assured  were  the  hospital  lights. 

Then  we  found  two  gates,  not  doors,  with  two  open 
corridors  without  roofs,  and  banged  at  these.  Sister 
Katherine  came,  with  her  sweet  saintly  face  looking 
like  an  angel  in  the  darkness  as  the  light  of  a  lamp  fell 
on  her.  She  welcomed  me  very  warmly,  and  took  me 
into  John's  room.  He  was  out  at  a  rehearsal  of  The 
Mikado.  I  was  angry,  for  I  was  so  tired,  and  this 
delay  meant  sitting  up  all  night.  Then  I  went  over 
the  hospital  with  Sister  Katherine,  returning  to  John's 
room.  When  she  left  me  I  was  all  alone,  with  no 
sound  but  the  beating  of  the  surf  on  the  shore.  I 
waited  till  12  and  then  got  tea.  John  came  back  at 
12.20,  and  we  talked  till  4.30,  when  Sister  K.  brought 
in  some  coffee,  after  which  he  walked  with  me  to  the 
wharf,  where  we  got  an  Arab  boat,  and  I  was  on  board 
at  5.30,  just  as  the  dark  sky  was  beginning  to  redden 
over  the  desert.  He  speaks  Arabic,  and  even  in  the 
early  morning  was  followed  with  blessings  from 
Arabs  whose  eyes  he  has  cured.  This  was  the  last  bit 
of  home  I  shall  have.  How  I  long  for  the  coarsest  gale 

204  " THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

which  ever  swept  over  Tobermory,  and  the  howlings 
in  The  Cottage,  and  hail  and  rain  and  wet  clothes,  and 
streams,  and  even  mud,  and  leeks  and  cucumbers  and 
milk — the  delicious  milk  of  your  cow !  We  hope  to 
reach  Aden  on  Wednesday  and  discharge  thirty  tons  of 
gunpowder.  On  arriving  in  India,  I  take  a  railroad 
journey  of  1,100  miles. 

The  sandstorm  passed  and  the  rest  of  the  voyage 
was  uneventful — except  for  quoit  tournaments, 
which  Mrs.  Bishop  enjoyed.  At  Karachi  on  March  21 
she  was  met  by  Mr.  Mclvor  and  sped  on  her  long- 
journey  to  Lahore,  which  she  reached  in  blazing 
heat  on  the  24th,  and  where  she  spent  ten  days, 
making  pleasant  acquaintances  and  meeting  Sir 
Frederick  and  Lady  Roberts,  whom  she  was  later 
to  know  well  at  Srinagar.  Her  object  in  halting 
at  Lahore  was  to  visit  its  hospitals  and  dispensaries, 
both  native  and  missionary. 

At  Sialkot,  her  next  stage,  she  went  to  Dr.  Whyte's 
hospital  and  dispensary,  and  thence  by  Rawal  Pindi 
and  Dulai,  sometimes  riding  a  pony,  sometimes  driven 
in  a  rough  hill-cart  drawn  by  starved  and  worn-out 
horses,  and  finally  by  water,  she  made  her  way  through 
the  beautiful  ravines  of  Kashmir  to  Srinagar.  Her 
toilsome  journey  to  Baramulla  from  Sialkot  took 
ten  whole  days.  Then  she  changed  into  a  house- 
boat on  the  Jhelum  river,  passed  through  quiet 
canals  and  swamps  full  of  irises,  along  meadows 
green  as  an  English  lawn,  by  fresh-leafed  poplars, 
camped  on  the  banks  by  night,  and  reached  Srinagar 
by  April  22.  Here  she  was  met  by  Mr.  Knowles 
and  Dr.  Arthur  Neve,  and  taken  to  the  Residency, 
where  she  stayed  for  a  time. 

She  now  first  became  closely  associated  with  the 
missionary  enterprises  of  the  C.M.S.,  and,  says  Mr. 

!889]  ISLAMABAD  205 

Eugene  Stock,  she  never  after  lost  that  keen  interest 
in  their  doings  of  which  a  foreshadowing  may  be 
discerned  in  her  references  to  the  Society's  work 
amongst  the  aborigines  of  Yezo,  in  Unbeaten  Tracks 
in  Japan. 

Her  first  care  was  to  make  herself  acquainted  with 
the  needs  of  medical  mission  work  in  the  capital 
of  Kashmir  and  its  neighbourhood.  The  Ottoman 
Government  had  refused  to  grant  an  trade  for  the 
hospital  in  Palestine,  and  she  now  decided  to 
place  it  in  Kashmir,  where  it  was  much  needed. 
Dr.  Neve  describes  one  of  the  earliest  expeditions 
which  she  made  in  search  of  a  site. 

We  visited  Islamabad  and  camped  for  some  days  at 
Bawan.  She  rode  the  marches  dressed  in  a  semi- 
Persian  costume.  To  me  it  looked  quaint — the  dark 
divided  skirt,  long  tea-coloured  cloak,  pagri,  and  blue 
veil.  And  she  sat  perched  on  the  top  of  the  horse  just 
like  a  Yarkandi  woman.  But  the  value  of  the  costume 
was  at  once  realised  as  we  went  through  the  narrow, 
crowded  bazaar.  The  natives  took  no  notice  whatever 
of  her.  Had  she  dressed  in  European  style  and  ridden 
side-saddle,  many  would  have  turned  to  gaze  ;  but  her 
Asiatic  costume  and  thick  veil  excited  no  curiosity,  and 
with  Oriental  good  breeding,  they  scarcely  lifted  their 
eyes  to  the  apparently  purdah  lady  on  horseback. 
In  the  mission  work  she  took  a  keen  interest.  When 
in  camp  with  me  she  came  to  look  on  at  the  clinique. 
For  the  earlier  part  of  the  day  I  was  kept  busy  by  the 
throng  of  clamant  patients ;  first  giving  to  each 
successive  batch  a  brief  address  about  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ.  On  such  occasions  one  has  audiences  some  of 
whom  are  both  intelligent  and  appreciative,  although 
the  majority  are  ignorant  and  apathetic.  In  the  course 
of  each  day  many  operations  were  performed,  and  I 
remember  her  great  interest  in  a  man  with  a  large 
malignant  tumour  of  the  neck,  which  I  removed.  It 
was  a  big  operation  to  undertake  in  such  primitive 
surroundings.  Overhead  was  the  green  canopy  of  the 
magnificent  plane-trees.  Crystal-clear  water  straight 
from  the  spring  flowed  swiftly  past  in  its  stone-lined 

206  "THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

conduit,  while  all  around  gazed  a  silent  crowd  kept 
back  by  the  chowkidar  and  one  or  two  voluntary  police. 
Mrs.  Bishop  took  a  keen  interest  in  all  things  surgical, 
and  offered  help  as  well  as  looked  on.  And  her  heart 
went  out  to  the  people,  as  "  sheep  without  a  shepherd  " 
given  over  to  the  tender  mercies  of  mercenary  moullahs 
and  professional  saints. 

Islamabad,  a  beautiful  town  on  a  fertile  plain, 
thirty-two  miles  by  road  from  Srinagar,  was  even- 
tually chosen  as  most  in  need  of  a  hospital  for  women 
and  children.  The  town  stands  under  limestone  cliffs, 
from  which  the  well-watered  plain  stretches  to  the 
Jhelum  river,  two  of  whose  sources  flow  past  the 
pyramidal  cliffs.  The  plain  is  densely  populated, 
and  Dr.  Neve  estimates  that  250,000  people  inhabit 
a  radius  of  twenty  miles  round  Islamabad. 

Mrs.  Bishop  wrote  to  Miss  Clayton  (June   i) : 

I  lunched  at  the  Residency  just  as  the  Maharajah 
was  making  his  farewell  call,  with  a  salute  of  seven- 
teen guns  and  a  great  streaming  of  banners.  The 
Resident  said  he  was  in  a  very  bad  humour,  and 
accused  him  of  giving  all  his  best  land  to  the  mis- 
sionaries. This  meant  that  the  Council  have  given 
a  piece  of  land  in  a  very  eligible  situation  to  me  for 
the  Memorial  Hospital.  I  could  hardly  believe  that 
I  heard  aright,  after  all  the  weary  work  about  Nazareth 
and  the  final  failure.  This  morning  I  went  to  see  it  in 
a  boat  with  Dr.  Neve  and  Dr.  Fanny  Butler.  It  is 
beautifully  situated  within  three  lovely  waterways, 
et  within  five  minutes  of  the  centre  of  the  town,  and 
as  three  large  chenar-trees  upon  it.  It  is  240  ft.  by 
273  ft.  On  it  will  be  built  an  out-patient  department, 
a  waiting-room,  consulting-room,  operation-room,  and 
dispensary;  two  pavilions,  fifty  feet  long,  to  hold  thirty- 
two  patients ;  and  a  serai,  or  rest-house,  for  patients' 
friends,  who  come  to  nurse  and  cook  for  them.  An 
operating-room  will  be  attached,  a  two-storied  house 
for  the  four  missionary  ladies  will  be  built  on  the  same 
ground — but  with  that  I  have  nothing  to  do.  It  is  to 
be  called  the  "John  Bishop  Memorial  Hospital,"  and 


i889]         "JOHN   BISHOP  MEMORIAL"  207 

thus  I  hope  the  righteous  will  be  had  in  everlasting 
remembrance.  It  is  nice  that  both  the  Drs.  Neve 
were  his  students,  and  that  one  was  his  assistant  for 
nine  months  at  the  Cowgate  Dispensary,  and  that 
Miss  Butler's  brother  was  one  01  his  old  friends. 
The  C.M.S.  are  to  be  the  trustees,  and  the  C.E.Z.M. 
are  to  take  the  buildings  at  a  rent  which  will  keep 
them  in  repair.  The  bricks  are  to  be  made  at  once, 
and  the  wood  sawn. 

At  this  time  Dr.  Ernest  Neve  and  three  of  the 
lady  missionaries  were  encamped  at  Nasim  Bagh, 
on  the  Dal  Lake,  and  Dr.  Arthur  Neve  escorted 
her  by  boat  to  see  them  and  talk  over  the  build- 
ing plans.  An  incident,  narrated  by  Dr.  Neve, 
probably  took  place  on  their  return  journey  to 

We  were  floating  in  the  calm  summer  afternoon 
down  the  broad  Jhelum  River  in  our  matting  house- 
boats. It  was  the  time  of  year  when  sudden  gusts 
sweep  down  the  mountain  gorges.  I  saw  a  squall 
coming  up  the  valley  and  whitening  the  surface  of 
the  river,  and  shouted  to  her  boatman  to  make  for 
the  right  bank.  Before  they  could  reach  it  the  wind 
caught  her  boat,  blowing  its  matting  about  and  carry- 
ing away  all  scattered  articles,  including  some  of  her 
precious  MSS.  My  boat  was  nearly  wrecked.  In 
using  the  punting-pole  one  of  my  men  was  knocked 
down  and  injured,  and  we  were  dashed  against  the 
bank.  I  sprang  out  and  passed  a  rope  round  a  near 
tree,  but  it  snapped  like  a  pack-thread,  and  the  boat 
continued  its  wild  career  up-stream,  swinging  round 
and  striking  the  bank,  and  with  great  difficulty  was 
finally  brought  to  anchorage  just  short  of  some  over- 
hanging trees,  which  would  have  upset  and  sunk  it  in 
deep  water.  Her  boat  was  lower  down,  and  was  safely 
moored ;  but  Mrs.  Bishop  herself  stepped  out  into  the 
shallow  water,  and  came  along  the  marshy  bank  to  see 
if  she  could  be  of  any  assistance.  In  the  presence  of 
danger  she  became  alert  and  almost  gay,  making  light 
of  her  own  losses,  for  many  of  her  things  had  been 
blown  into  the  river.  A  pair  of  stockings,  which  she 

208  "THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

had  washed  and  hung  up  to  dry,  were  among  the 
things  blown  overboard  ;  and  as  she  came  along  to  my 
boat  with  wet  feet,  I  discovered  that  she  had  no  change 
with  her  and  was  not  too  proud  to  wear  a  pair  of  my 

She  soon  suffered  a  loss  which  fretted  her  consider- 
ably. During  the  absence  of  the  medical  missionaries, 
they  placed  their  house  at  her  disposal,  and  she  used 
its  large,  cool  drawing-room  to  write  in.  Here  she 
had  compiled  a  long,  detailed  diary  letter,  giving 
a  minute  account  of  her  journey  from  Lahore,  and 
of  the  earlier  part  of  her  stay  at  Srinagar.  It  was 
addressed  to  Miss  Clayton,  who  kept  such  letters 
till  required  for  her  records  of  travel.  This  letter 
was  either  blown  into  the  Jhelum,  or  disappeared  in 
some  mysterious  fashion. 

The  hospital  was  built  upon  the  site  granted,  as  a 
Memorial  to  Dr.  Bishop,  and  was  the  first  of  her  many 
benefactions  to  the  work  of  the  C.M.S.  It  was  sub- 
sequently destroyed  by  floods  and  rebuilt. 

The  actual  building  fell  to  my  lot  [writes  Dr.  Arthur 
Neve].  Excellent  limestone  for  all  building  purposes 
was  quarried  locally  and  the  bricks  were  made  on  the 
spot.  Brick-kilns  and  lime-kilns  were  soon  in  full 
swing.  The  neighbouring  streams  might  have  brought 
timber  almost  to  the  door,  but  it  was  dry  summer, 
and  the  logs — cut  far  away  in  the  mountains — had  to 
be  floated  down  the  rivers  sawn  up  into  rafters  and 
planks  six  miles  away,  and  carried  by  gangs  of  porters 
across  the  plateau.  I  made  a  weekly  visit,  usually 
bicycling  up  in  the  lovely  mornings  and  sometimes 
back  the  same  evening,  a  distance  of  65  miles.  As 
soon  as  the  buildings  were  approximately  ready, 
Dr.  Minnie  Gomery  and  Miss  rJewnham  went  to 
live  there,  at  first  in  tents,  superintending  the  finish- 
ing and  fitting  of  the  institution  and  starting  a  little 
medical  work. 

There  were  many   excursions  with   Dr.   Neve  on 

i889]  AT  SRINAGAR  209 

his  medical  missionary  tours,  when  he  took  a  portable 
hospital  building  in  the  boat  and  was  accompanied 
by  two  assistants.  She  went  several  times  also  to 
the  women's  hospital  and  dispensary  in  Srinagar  and 
was  appalled  at  the  disease,  misery,  and  sordid  neglect 
which  were  the  portion  of  poor  women  in  that 
beautiful  city.  Overcrowding,  filth,  putrid  water,  and 
every  kind  of  revolting  disease  cried  aloud  for  medical 
missionaries  amongst  them.  For  a  time  Dr.  Neve 
lent  Mrs.  Bishop  his  bungalow  by  the  Jhelum,  where 
there  was  a  garden  and  the  singing  of  birds,  and 
where  she  had  peace— sometimes  lunching  and  dining 
at  the  Residency,  sometimes  having  food  brought  to 
her.  She  kept  three  boats  moored  close  at  hand, 
one  swift  and  light,  which  was  paddled  by  two  men 
and  served  her  for  short  excursions  on  the  Jhelum 
and  the  Pohru.  Friends  gathered  about  her,  Miss 
Roberts,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Laurence,  and  other  residents 
and  travellers,  and  with  them  she  rode,  camped,  and 
explored  the  country.  Her  horse  was  a  big,  gentle 
Yarkandi,  which  a  dishonest  seis  was  gradually  starv- 
ing into  stupidity.  As  the  heat  grew  more  intolerable, 
she  longed  for  the  "  wilderness,"  where  evening  dress 
and  ceremony  were  unknown,  and  where  the  unex- 
pected enriched  each  day's  experience.  Mosquitoes 
now  disturbed  her  peace  upon  the  rivers,  and  a  host 
of  Anglo-Indian  visitors  arrived  for  the  summer  and 
drove  peace  away  from  the  shores. 

So  she  planned  an  ascent  to  the  plateaux  of  Lesser 
Tibet,  engaged  two  servants  in  addition  to  the  worth- 
less seis,  received  from  Colonel  Durand,  in  exchange 
for  the  Yarkand  horse,  a  silver-grey  Arab,  untamable 
and  mischievous,  but  "  tireless,  hardy,  hungry,"  grace- 
ful, and  swift.  In  addition  to  her  own  servants,  she 
had  to  endure  the  escort  of  a  brutal  and  ruffianly 

210  "THROUGH   MANY  LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

Afghan  soldier  sent  by  the  Maharajah.  Three  mules 
were  bought  to  carry  the  tents,  equipments,  and 
supplies,  of  which  the  merest  necessaries  were  taken, 
since  throughout  the  route  meat,  milk,  flour,  barley, 
and  provender  for  the  animals  could  be  bought. 

It  took  her  twenty-six  days  to  reach  Leh,  her  first 
stage  being  Ganderbal,  about  sixteen  hours'  sail  from 
Srinagar.  She  left  the  Residency  at  four  in  the  after- 
noon of  June  21,  by  house-boat,  and  accomplished 
her  water-journey  by  8  a.m.  on  the  22nd.  From 
Ganderbal  she  wrote  to  Miss  Clayton  : 

I  am  now  sitting  under  the  dense  shade  of  a  huge 
plane-tree,  while  the  boat  is  being  unloaded.  I  have 
the  scoundrel  Fais  Khan,  of  whom  from  a  former 
master,  Dr.  Warburton,  I  have  heard  a  very  bad 
character,  a  Kashmiri  lad  to  help  generally,  and  the 
Afghan  swashbuckler,  all  Mohammedans.  I  tried 
to  get  one  Hindu,  to  prevent  if  possible  a  general 
conspiracy  against  me,  but  not  one  could  be  found 
strong  enough  for  the  journey.  So  that  I  can  only 
hope  that  motives  of  interest  may  keep  them  all 
straight — but  crossing  the  reedy  Anchar  Lake  last 
night  in  the  darkness,  sitting  alone  on  the  prow  of 
my  boat,  I  thought  it  the  most  risky  journey  I  had 
ever  undertaken.  I  have  safely  reached  the  capital  of 
Little  Tibet,  where  there  is  one  Englishman  repre- 
senting the  Indian  Government  and  two  Moravian 
missionaries.  I  stayed  at  the  Residency  till  Wednes- 
day afternoon.  On  Tuesday  there  was  a  tennis  party. 
The  young  Rajah  of  Kapurtala — with  his  English 
guardians  and  an  immense  retinue — played  all  the 
evening  with  an  English  lady  for  his  partner,  and  his 
manner  to  women  was  very  gentlemanly.  Prince 
Amar  Singh,  the  Maharajah's  brother  and  Prime 
Minister,  a  superbly  handsome  man,  was  there  with 
his  attendants,  but  took  no  part  and  spoke  to  no  one 
but  the  Resident.  You  would  know  what  white  robes 
are  if  you  saw  the  dazzling  spotlessness  of  these  men. 
One  wore  a  pale  pink  and  the  other  an  apricot- 
coloured  turban.  The  heat  was  so  great  that,  after 

i889]  GANDERBAL  211 

dinner,  carpets,  lamps,  and  chairs  were  put  on  the 

On  Wednesday  morning,  in  the  Maharajah's  state 
barge,  rowed  by  banks  of  crimson  peons,  we  went  down 
to  shop  in  the  city  in  a  sun-blaze  which  threatened  to 
smite  me  in  a  moment.  Then  I  went  to  my  tent  and 
packed  at  Dr.  Neve's  till  six.  Dr.  Warburton,  the 
young  Rajah's  guardian,  and  the  two  Neves  came  to 
dinner,  and  the  heat  was  so  awful  that  instead  of 
sitting  in  the  verandah  we  went  on  the  river  by  the 
light  of  a  lantern.  Thursday  was  a  dreadful  day  of 
misty,  blazing  heat,  the  packing  and  the  buzzing  fear- 
ful— none  of  the  necessaries  arriving,  no  bottles  to  be 
got — notes  to  write;  and  then  the  new  horse  squealed  at 
intervals  all  night.  At  ten  I  went  and  sat  with  Dr.  Neve 
while  he  breakfasted.  We  had  a  great  deal  of  talk 
about  the  arrangements  of  the  new  hospital.  He  gave 
me  a  bottle  of  digitalis  tabloids  and  a  oottle  of  spirit 
for  my  Etna.  Then  I  went  to  tiffin  with  the  Knowles, 
then  finished  packing  in  a  buzz  indescribable,  ending 
by  my  coming  away  in  another  person's  sandals 
because  my  own  had  not  come.  Miss  Hull  took  me 
in  her  boat  to  the  Residency. 

The  Resident  gave  me  a  Government  pass  to 
Kashgar,  in  case  I  wish  to  go  beyond  Ladakh ;  and 
at  half-past  three  I  left  in  my  own  boat,  having  actually 
to  stop  for  necessaries  on  the  way.  I  think  that,  so  far 
as  getting  an  insight  into  mission  work  goes,  Kashmir 
has  been  most  valuable,  but  the  climate  is  a  very  dis- 
appointing one.  Through  the  canal  we  came  till  it 
broadened  into  the  Anchar  Lake — a  reedy  sheet  of 
water,  the  breeding-ground  of  mosquitoes.  The  tawny 
twilight  darkened  into  a  stifling  night,  and  I  was  on 
the  prow  of  the  boat  till  nine,  eaten  by  mosquitoes. 
Then  we  drifted  into  a  reed-bed  for  the  night,  and  a 
man  brought  me  hot  water  from  the  other  end  of  the 
boat  by  wading  along  its  side  up  to  his  chin  in  water. 
This  morning  we  reached  Ganderbal  on  the  Sind  River, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Sind  Valley,  my  first  stage  on  the 
route  from  the  Punjab  to  Central  Asia  and  Tibet. 

At  Ganderbal  Mrs.  Bishop  made  up  her  caravan, 
hired  another  servant,  and  started  upon  a  five  days' 
march  up  the  beautiful  Sind  Valley  to  Sonamarg. 

212  "THROUGH   MANY  LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

"  Gyalpo,"  her  Arab  horse,  outstripped  the  caravan, 
and  generally  reached  the  camping-ground  an  hour 
before  tent,  baggage,  and  servants.  She  was  obliged 
to  see  him  fed  herself. 

Fais  Khan  is  not  only  cheating  me  [she  wrote],  but 
leyying  blackmail  on  every  one  from  whom  I  get  any- 
thing. Starving  the  horse  is  the  most  serious  thing 
of  all. 

Her  military  escort  was  a  daily  trial ;  but  fortunately 
she  did  not  know  till  later  that  he  had  added  murder 
to  his  other  accomplishments.  His  costume  was 

A  patched  whitish  shirt  with  hanging  sleeves,  black 
leggings  bound  with  scarlet,  breeches  (once  white), 
tanned  socks  and  sandals,  a  leather  belt  with  various 
leathern  things  depending  from  it,  a  dark  blue  turban 
round  a  red-peaked  cap  with  one  end  dangling  over 
the  back,  my  grey  bag  slung  over  his  shoulders,  a 
scimitar  carried  over  one  shoulder,  and  my  alpenstock 
in  his  other  hand. 

He  further  decorated  himself  by  sticking  flowers 
into  his  turban.  He  maltreated  the  villagers  on  the 
route,  stole  their  fowls  and  took  all  he  wanted  in 
her  name,  and  beat  them  with  the  flat  of  his  sword 
if  they  resisted.  The  other  two  servants  were  happily 
better,  and  the  young  Kashmiri  Mando  was  good 
to  Gyalpo,  who  loved  him.  Her  great  self-control 
enabled  her,  if  not  to  prevent  the  malpractices  of 
Fais  Khan  and  Usman  Shah,  at  all  events  to  limit 
them  and  to  retain  her  authority  over  them. 

Mr.  Laurence  overtook  her  on  the  third  day,  and  sat 
half  an  hour  with  her  under  the  shade  of  a  big  walnut- 
tree.  He  was  busy  valuing  the  land  for  taxation, 
and  was  worried  at  the  oppression  which  the  people 
suffered  from  Hindu  Pandits.  The  heat  was  excessive, 
and  flowers  were  few,  as  they  toiled  up  to  Sonamarg, 

i889]  SON  AM  ARC  213 

jasmines,  larkspurs,  and  crimson  lychnis  being  about 
all  that  she  noted.     Her  order  of  the  day  was  : 

In  bed  before  nine ;  tea  and  toast  at  six ;  dress, 
pack,  start  with  the  Afghan  and  sets  at  seven — having 
sent  on  a  coolie  eight  miles  with  the  servants'  square 
tent,  the  luncheon  basket  with  rice,  hard-boiled  eggs, 
cold  tea,  and  cherries,  and  my  cork  mattress.  Halt  at 
ten ;  pitch  the  tent,  lie  down  for  two  and  a  half  hours 
(such  a  luxury  but  for  the  proximity  of  things  that 
creep),  feed,  and  go  on  again  for  another  hour.  The 
Afghan  has  stuck  a  spear  in  front  of  the  tent  with 
his  sword  hung  upon  it,  and  is  asleep  somewhere. 
Gyalpo  is  'tethered  under  a  huge  walnut-tree.  The 
valley  has  become  narrow  and  stupendous,  the  thun- 
der of  the  Sind  louder  than  ever.  It  poured,  and 
I  pitched  my  camp-stool  close  to  the  trunk  of  a  tree, 
as  the  tents  were  far  behind,  when  Mr.  Sells,  who  had 
come  on  early,  asked  me  to  take  shelter  within  the 
flaps  of  his  tent,  and  afterwards  invited  me  to  tiffin 
under  a  tree — such  a  luxurious  meal.  Mr,  Sells  is  an 
exquisite  artist ;  he  paints  a  picture  on  every  march. 
I  rested,  read,  and  at  half-past  four  went  out  for  two 
hours  with  Mr.  Sells  to  watch  him  paint,  then  had  a 
poor  dinner  and  went  to  bed. 

Her  next  stage  was  Sonamarg,  where  Mrs.  Laurence 
was  living  in  a  log  hut,  and  where  she  was  warmly 
welcomed  and  set  down  to  a  plentiful  breakfast.  She 
stayed  here  for  several  days,  using  her  own  tent  as 
a  sleeping-place.  The  heat  was  modified  by  thunder- 
storms, and,  as  usual,  the  mountain  air  refreshed 
her.  One  of  the  Commissioners  for  the  Panjab,  Mr. 
Maconachie,  had  a  hut  close  at  hand,  and  offered  to 
give  her  ruffianly  servants  a  threatening  lecture, 
which  proved  effectual.  He  had  heard  of  their  pecu- 
lations and  violence  from  Dr.  Ernest  Neve,  who  paid 
them  all  a  passing  visit  at  Sonamarg. 

On  June  27  she  wrote  : 

Yesterday  afternoon  Mrs.  Laurence  and  I  went  out 

2i4  " THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

and  had  our  tea  below  the  glacier,  a  cow  being  taken 
to  be  milked.  It  is  very  grand  scenery,  mountains 
of  naked  grey  pinnacles  close  by  covered  with  snow 
and  glaciers — pine-  and  birch-clad  spurs.  On  one  of 
the  narrow  ridges  we  are  camped  and  hutted.  Below 
there  are  mountain-meadows,  one  of  them  deeply  cut 
by  a  torrent,  which  comes  foaming  down  from  the 
glaciers  through  pines.  After  tea  we  went  to  see 
the  Macpnachies,  whose  acquaintance  I  had  made  on 
the  Nasim  Bagh.  The  air  was  delicious.  I  could 
walk  better,  and  at  night  a  great  log  fire,  with  the 
fresh  air  rushing  through  all  the  crannies,  was  quite 
comfortable.  .  .  .  Dr.  Ernest  Neve  has  just  been  to 
say  that  if  I  will  start  to-morrow  afternoon,  he  and 
Mr.  Maconachie  will  march  with  me  to  Baltal,  camp 
there,  and  at  five  on  Saturday  morning  see  me  safe 
up  to  the  top  of  the  Zoji  La. 

This  is  the  first  of  the  three  mighty  steps  which 
lead  up  to  the  great  table-land  of  Central  Asia  from 
Kashmir,  and,  as  it  is  the  only  dangerous  pass  between 
Sonamarg  and  Leh,  she  most  thankfully  accepted 
their  chivalrous  offer,  veiled  by  a  protest  that  they 
"  longed  to  stand  on  the  top  of  Zoji  La." 

The  march  to  Baltal  lasted  four  hours  and  was 
marked  by  an  accident  to  Gyalpo,  fortunately  while 
Mrs.  Bishop  herself  was  on  foot.  The  sets  took  him, 
against  orders,  over  a  raging  torrent  by  means  of 
a  high  log  bridge  which  turned  round  just  as  he 
reached  the  middle,  so  that,  though  the  man  saved 
himself,  the  Arab  fell  down  into  the  rocky,  surging 
river  and  only  by  a  desperate  effort  got  ashore  with 
scratched  and  bleeding  legs. 

Very  early  next  morning  they  began  their  perilous 
ascent  of  the  pass  by  a  narrow  track  cut  along  the  side 
of  a  rocky  wall,  zig-zagging  and  dangerous,  but  re- 
lieved by  the  beauty  of  fringing  creepers,  lilies,  and 
columbines.  Up  the  caravan  toiled  by  the  shelving 
path,  and  after  some  hours  of  hard  climbing  they  stood 

i889]  ON  THE  ZOJI   LA  215 

upon  the  summit  and  gazed  at  Central  Asia.  They 
breakfasted  together  at  the  top,  icing  their  tea  in  the 
snow,  and  then  Mr.  Maconachie  and  Dr.  Ernest  Neve 
bade  her  farewell  and  turned  back  to  Baltal.  What 
she  saw,  as  she  stood  there  alone,  she  has  described 
in  Among  the  Tibetans,  a  little  book  published  in  1894 
by  the  Religious  Tract  Society.  Her  word-picture 
gives  the  spectacle  as  the  fragile  traveller's  brave  eyes 
looked  upon  it,  at  a  moment  fraught  with  thrilling 
interest — the  dream  of  years  realised,  the  long  faring 
accomplished,  the  near  future  under  her  like  a  mystic 
scroll,  her  guerdon  for  toil  and  privation. 

Below,  in  shadow  lay  the  Baltal  camping-ground, 
a  lonely,  deodar-belted  flowery  meadow,  noisy  with 
the  dash  of  icy  torrents  tumbling  down  from  the  snow- 
fields  and  glaciers  upborne  by  the  gigantic  mountain 
range  into  which  we  had  penetrated  by  the  Zoji  Pass. 
The  valley,  lying  in  shadow  at  their  base,  was  a  dream 
of  beauty,  green  as  an  English  lawn,  starred  with 
white  lilies  and  dotted  with  clumps  of  trees  which 
were  festooned  with  red  and  white  roses,  clematis, 
and  white  jasmine.  Above  the  hardier  deciduous 
trees  appeared  the  Pinus  excelsa,  the  silver  fir,  and  the 
spruce ;  higher  yet  the  stately  grace  of  the  deodar 
clothed  the  hill-sides,  and  above  the  forests  rose  the 
snow  mountain  of  Tilail.  Higher  than  the  Zoji— 
itself  1 1, 500  ft.  in  altitude — a  mass  of  grey  and  red 
mountains,  snow-slashed  and  snow-capped,  rose  in 
the  dewy,  rose-flushed  atmosphere  in  peaks,  walls, 
pinnacles,  and  jagged  ridges,  above  which  towered 
yet  loftier  summits,  bearing  into  the  heavenly  blue 
sky  fields  of  unsullied  snow  alone.  The  descent  on 
the  Tibetan  side  is  slight  and  gradual.  The  character 
of  the  scenery  undergoes  an  abrupt  change.  There 
are  no  more  trees,  and  the  large  shrubs  which  for 
a  time  take  their  place  degenerate  into  thorny  bushes 
and  then  disappear.  There  were  mountains  thinly 
clothed  with  grass  here  and  there,  mountains  of  bare 
gravel  and  red  rock,  grey  crags,  stretches  of  green 
turf,  sunlit  peaks  with  their  snows,  a  deep  snow-filled 

216  "THROUGH   MANY   LANDS"     [CHAP,  ix 

ravine  eastwards,  and  beyond  a  long  valley  filled  with 
a  snow-field  fringed  with  pink  primulas  ;  and  that  was 
Central  Asia. 

Gyalpo  brought  her  by  three  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon  to  Matayan — fourteen  miles  away — partly 
descending,  partly  across  wide  valleys,  and  she  sat 
in  the  midst  of  staring  women  till  her  tent  arrived. 
Matayan  was  still  Kashmir  ;  she  had  to  ride  and 
march  across  the  Dras  valley,  with  its  villages,  to 
climb  up  to  Kargil,  to  wilt  under  the  heat  of  a  lofty 
plateau  of  sand,  to  traverse  ravines  and  rocky  wilder- 
nesses, before  she  emerged  upon  Shergol,  the  first 
village  of  true  Buddhist  Tibetans,  where,  as  she  says 
in  her  book,  "  the  intensely  human  interest  of  the 
journey  began." 

A  record  of  her  three  months  in  Lesser  Tibet  is 
so  fully  furnished  in  Among  the  Tibetans  that  the 
reader  may  be  referred  to  its  pages  for  her  adventures 
there,  one  of  which  nearly  ended  her  life.  But  it  may 
be  mentioned  that  the  wretched  sets  was  at  last  dis- 
missed for  cruelty  to  Gyalpo,  and  that  the  iniquities 
of  Usman  Shah  came  to  light  at  Leh.  Her  Arab  was 
replaced  on  the  rough  ascents  by  a  yak,  or  Tibetan  ox, 
a  steed  of  exciting  possibilities,  half  savage  still  after 
centuries  of  attempted  taming,  with  an  alarming  habit 
of  knocking  over  its  leader,  bellowing  defiance,  and 
leaping  down  the  slopes  from  boulder  to  boulder  till 
it  finds  its  herd,  leaving  its  rider  to  accommodate 
herself  to  the  circumstances.  Mrs.  Bishop  used  her 
Mexican  saddle  and  dress  and  on  the  whole  enjoyed 
her  rides,  on  which  she  had  for  guide  and  most 
interesting  companion  the  man  who  best  loved  the 
Tibetans  and  was  her  most  influential  sponsor 
amongst  them,  the  late  Rev.  W.  Redslob,  of  Leh. 



A  PRIVATE  letter  from  Leh  gives  news  of  Mrs.  Bishop's 
health  there.  It  is  addressed  to  Lady  Middleton,  and 
is  dated  August  11,  1889: 

I  have  now  been  nearly  two  months  in  Western 
Tibet;  it  is  most  interesting,  and  in  some  respects 
wonderful,  but  living  at  an  altitude  varying  from 
11,000  to  17,000  ft.  has  not  improved  my  health.  I 
feel  very  weak.  All  my  journey  has  to  be  done  on 
horse  or  yak  back,  and  I  often  feel  nearly  dead.  I 
wish  I  could  send  my  Badakshan  horse  (Gyalpo)  to 
Lord  Middleton's  stud,  to  be  the  sire  of  a  race  of 
horses.  He  goes  anywhere  and  does  anything — even 
came  over  the  Kharzong  glacier  last  week,  and  swam 
the  rapids  of  the  Shayok ;  not  an  old  woman's  horse, 
but  I  contrive  to  get  on  with  him.  I  like  the  Tibetans 
very  much. 

Mrs.  Bishop  slowly  descended  to  the  Panjab,  Mando 
and  Hassan  Khan  still  with  her,  and  some  coolies 
from  Leh,  who  took  care  of  her  tents  and  baggage. 
Gyalpo  was  groomed  by  Mando,  and,  on  occasion, 
when  Mando  was  powerless  from  cold,  by  herself. 
The  marches  were  now  over  desolate,  gravelly  passes, 
across  broad  valleys  of  sand,  regions  without  vegeta- 
tion and  without  water,  where  for  two  nights  the 
baggage-ponies  could  get  no  food.  When  the  snow- 
peaks  reddened  in  the  dawn  the  camping-grounds 
were  often  white  with  hoar-frost.  They  reached 



flowing  water  at  Lahul,  or  British  Tibet,  and  there 
to  her  sorrow  she  was  met  by— 

A  creature  in  a  nondescript  dress,  speaking  Hindu- 
stani volubly.  On  a  band  across  his  breast  were 
the  British  crown  and  the  words  "  Commissioner's 
chaprassicy  Kulu  District."  I  never  felt  so  extinguished. 
Liberty  seemed  lost,  and  the  romance  of  the  desert  to 
have  died  out  in  one  moment. 

But  the  chaprassie  had  brought  an  escort,  cows,  and 
cowherd,  all  of  which  (with  the  exception  of  the 
escort,  sent  promptly  back  to  the  Tibetan  dignitary) 
went  on  with  her,  to  her  great  comfort,  in  the  terrible 
Baralacha  Pass,  which  took  three  days  to  cross. 
When  c  they  reached  Kylang,  in  the  Lahul  valley, 
she  remained  three  weeks  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Heyde, 
missionaries  then  of  forty  years'  standing  in  British 
Tibet.  Here  she  added  to  her  notes  on  the  people, 
lamas,  religious  festivals,  education,  and  conditions  of 
Christian  teaching.  All  through  her  Tibetan  travels 
she  was  deeply  impressed  by  the  self-sacrifice  and 
heroic  persistence  of  the  German  Moravian  mis- 
sionaries, "  learned,  genial,  cultured,  who,  whether 
teaching,  preaching,  farming,  gardening,  printing,  or 
doctoring,  are  always  and  everywhere  '  living  epistles 
of  Christ,  known  and  read  of  all  men.'" 

It  took  four  weeks  to  descend  to  the  Panjab  from 
Kylang,  and  it  was  not  till  Thursday,  October  17, 
that  she  reached  Simla. 

The  Persian  journey  contemplated  before  she  left 
England  had  now  almost  sunk  into  the  limbo  of 
unattainable  ambitions,  so  strongly  had  her  Indian 
friends  warned  her  against  its  hardships.  But  in 
Simla  she  met — probably  at  the  Residency  or  when 
lunching  with  Sir  Mortimer  Durand — Major  Sawyer, 
Assistant  Quartermaster-General,  who  was  charged 

,889]      "  HENRIETTA   BIRD   HOSPITAL"        219 

with  a  military-geographical  mission  to  Persia,  and  who 
agreed  to  escort  her,  at  all  events,  as  far  as  Tihran 
and  Isfahan.  This  revival  of  her  original  purpose 
led  to  a  change  in  her  immediate  movements. 

But  her  work  in  India  was  not  completed.  In 
addition  to  the  "John  Bishop  Memorial  Hospital"  at 
Srinagar  she  desired  to  provide  a  small  hospital  and 
dispensary  in  memory  of  her  sister,  Henrietta  Bird, 
and  made  many  visits  and  inquiries  to  secure  the  site 
and  building.  On  the  day  after  her  final  conversation 
with  Major  Sawyer  respecting  the  Persian  journey, 
she  left  her  luggage  at  Simla  and  started  on  a  little 
tour  to  missionary  headquarters  at  Ambala,  Amritsar, 
and  Batala.  It  is  interesting  to  find  that,  in  addition 
to  her  careful  inspection  of  hospitals,  she  gave  an 
address  to  the  girls  of  the  Alexandra  School  at 
Amritsar  on  November  10.  Here  she  was  impressed 
by  the  character  of  Dr.  Martyn  Clark's  work  at  the 
Medical  Mission  Hospital,  and  finding  that  a  disused 
hotel  on  an  old  high  road  at  Bias,  near  Amritsar, 
was  to  be  had,  she  bought  the  buildings,  and  left 
funds  for  their  adaptation  and  equipment  as  a  women's 
hospital  and  dispensary  in  Dr.  Clark's  hands.  The 
place  was  at  once  put  into  order,  and  by  February 
of  1890  was  in  working  condition.  It  contained  six- 
teen bedrooms  for  patients  and  nurses,  a  billiard-room 
which  is  used  for  meetings,  and  out-buildings  made 
into  waiting-rooms  and  dispensary.  It  added  to  her 
satisfaction  in  leaving  the  "Henrietta  Bird  Hospital" 
in  Dr.  Clark's  charge  that  he  was  an  old  student  of 
Dr.  Bishop's. 

She  had  good  news,  too,  of  the  progress  of  her 
hospital  at  Srinagar ;  it  was  rising  rapidly,  and 
Dr.  Neve  hoped  it  would  be  completed  by  May.  Ten 
days  at  Lahore  and  a  visit  to  Sialkot  followed  this 


business  transaction,  and  from  December  3  to  12  she 
was  again  in  Lahore,  where  she  made  some  prepara- 
tion for  her  projected  journey,  and  had  the  privilege 
of  being  guided  through  the  museum  by  its  learned 
curator,  Mr.  Kipling,  whom  his  distinguished  son 
has  immortalised  in  Kim.  Then  came  the  long  train 
journey  to  Karachi,  where  her  hosts  were  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Mclvor,  and  where  she  completed  her  equipment 
and  met  Major  Sawyer. 

From  Karachi  to  Bushire  was  the  first  stage  ;  from 
Bushire  to  Baghdad  the  second.  Of  the  former  there 
remain  but  scanty  details,  due  to,  the  loss  of  all  her 
notes  at  Julfa.  She  spent  Christmas  Day  on  the 
s.s.  Assyria,  and  on  New  Year's  Eve  passed,  at  the 
junction  of  the  Tigris  and  Euphrates,  Gurman,  the  spot 
selected  by  tradition  as  the  Garden  of  Eden.  But 
before  the  year  ended  she  landed  at  Bushire  in  the 
British  Resident's  steam-launch  and  was  most 
hospitably  entertained  by  Colonel  Ross  during  the 
stay  of  the  Assyria. 

At  Fao  Dr.  Bruce  came  on  board  and  was  her 
fellow  traveller  as  far  as  Baghdad.  Mr.  Curzon, 
now  Lord  Curzon,  joined  at  Mohammerah,  fresh 
from  his  exploration  of  the  Karun  River.  At  Basrah 
they  were  transferred  to  the  s.s.  Mejidieh,  which 
took  them  slowly  to  Baghdad,  after  three  days' 
sailing  on  the  Tigris.  There  Dr.  Sutton  met  Mrs. 
Bishop  and  took  her  and  Dr.  Bruce  to  the  C.M.S. 
Mission  House  for  the  four  days  which  Major  Sawyer 
required  to  complete  his  caravan. 

She  had  engaged  a  servant  at  Bushire  and  now 
hired  five  mules,  two  for  riding  and  three  for  baggage, 
with  muleteers  to  look  after  them.  She  reduced  her 
camp  furniture  to  a  folding-bed  and  a  chair,  and 
adopted  native  trunks  for  her  belongings.  Provisions, 

1890]        BAGHDAD   TO   KIRMANSHAH          221 

a  revolver,  and  a  brasier  were  amongst  these.     For 
the  first  time  she  rode  a  saddle-mule,  and  found  it 
less  satisfactory  than  any  one  of  her  former  steeds. 
On  January   10  the  caravans  started   on  what  she 
ever  afterwards  described  as  an  "  awful  journey." 

I  never  would  have  undertaken  it  had  I  known  the 
hardships  it  would  involve,  the  long  marches,  the 
wretched  food,  the  abominable  accommodation, 
the  filthy  water,  the  brutal  barbarism  of  the  people. 
We  were  detained  four  days  by  torrents  of  rain  at 
Khonnikin,  the  last  town  in  Asiatic  Turkey,  at  the 
house  of  the  Turkish  Governor,  and  soon  after  reached 
the  snows  of  the  elevated  plateaux  of  Northern  Persia, 
and  have  been  marching  day  after  day  from  eighteen 
to  twenty-two  miles  with  mercury  at  from  four  to 
twelve  degrees  below  the  zero  of  Fahrenheit,  through 
snow  from  18  in.  to  3  ft.  deep,  sometimes  getting 
on  only  one  and  a  half  mile  an  hour,  and  putting  up  at 
night  either  in  cold,  filthy,  and  horrible  caravan-serais 
with  three  or  four  hundred  mules  and  their  drivers 
or  in  Kurdish  houses  shared  with  mules,  asses,  cows, 
and  sheep.  In  Turkey  we  had  an  escort  of  Bashi 
Bazouks,  and  in  Persia  of  armed  horsemen,  as  we  had 
to  go  through  many  passes  where  robber  tribes 
descend  on  small  caravans. 

This  letter  was  written  at  Kirmanshah,  where  they 
made  a  long  halt,  and  continues  : 

We  have  been  here  for  nine  days,  detained  by  snow, 
observations  for  longitude,  and  an  illness  of  mine,  and 
are  the  guests  of  a  wealthy  Arab  (Prince  Abdul 
Raheem).  I  have  learned  two  things ;  one  I  have 
been  learning  for  nine  months  past,  the  utter  error  of 
Canon  Taylor's  estimate  of  Islam.  I  think  it  the  most 
blighting,  withering,  degrading  influence  of  any  of  the 
false  creeds.  The  second  thing  takes  a  very  short 
time  to  learn,  i.e.  that  if  there  is  a  more  venal,  devas- 
tating, and  diabolical  oppression  on  earth  than  that  of 
the  Turk,  it  is  that  of  the  Shah.  This  is  a  ruined, 
played-out  country,  perishing  for  want  of  people,  of 
water,  of  fuel,  and  above  all  for  want  of  security, 


crushed  by  the  most  grinding  exactions  to  which  there 
is  no  limit  but  the  total  ruin  of  those  on  whom  they 
press,  without  a  middle  class  and  without  hope. 

At  Kirmanshah  she  had  rest  from  the  tossing  and 
tumbling  of  mule-riding,  and  her  host  lent  her  a 
splendid  Arab  for  excursions.  But  the  caravan 
started  again  on  February  3,  and  there  was  another 
fortnight  of  cold  and  hardship  before  she  reached 
Kum.  The  day  before  this  start  was  made  she  wrote 
a  long  letter  to  the  Tobermory  Y.W.C.A.,  which 
Mrs.  Allan  of  Aros  House  read  to  the  members. 
Its  account  of  the  journey  from  Baghdad  to  Kir- 
manshah endorses  the  letter  to  Sir  Thomas  Grainger 
Stewart,  which  has  just  been  quoted. 

I  left  Baghdad  with  sixteen  mules,  an  English  officer, 
three  Afghan  soldiers,  and  an  escort  of  mounted 
Turkish  soldiers.  We  have  had  an  awful  journey  up 
to  this  point,  mostly  through  snow,  with  the  thermo- 
meter generally  below  zero,  floundering  about  on 
mules  from  six  to  ten  hours  daily.  I  have  come  to 
think  parched  pease  a  luxury,  so  abominable  is  the 
food.  You  would  hardly  believe  in  what  abominable 
places  I  slept  at  night,  sometimes  in  a  huge  stable  and 
often  in  Kurdish  houses,  quite  dark,  with  a  fire  of  cow- 
dung  in  the  middle  of  the  floor,  and  men,  mules,  horses, 
asses,  cows,  and  poultry  all  together.  In  such  houses 
I  have  a  mat  to  screen  me  from  the  crowd.  We  were 
attacked  in  one  of  them,  and  the  soldiers  had  to  use 
their  swords.  I  never  see  any  women.  They  have 
nothing  to  do  and  see  no  one.  If  a  woman  of  the 
poorer  class  has  occasion  to  go  out  to  get  food,  she 
puts  on  a  black  mask  and  a  large  blue  sheet,  which 
covers  her  from  head  to  foot.  Any  woman  going  out 
otherwise  would  be  put  to  death.  The  people  are 
most  cruelly  oppressed.  Everything  beyond  the  mere 
necessities  of  life  is  taken  from  them  by  the  rulers,  and 
if  they  hide  anything  they  are  taken  to  prison  and 
burnt  with  hot  irons,  their  finger-bones  squeezed  and 
broken,  and  the  spies  of  their  feet  beaten  to  a  jelly  till 
they  tell  where  it  is.  The  towns  and  villages  are 

,890]  TI H  RAN  223 

falling  into  heaps  of  ruins,  and  the  land  lies  desolate 
without  wood  to  burn  and  hardly  water  to  drink. 
When  I  see  the  awful  darkness  in  which  these  people 
live,  and  remember  how  the  news  of  salvation  by  Jesus 
Christ  is  all  round  us  and  is  brought  into  our  very 
houses  and  is  pressed  upon  our  unwilling  hearts,  I 
often  think  of  the  words  of  our  Lord,  "  It  shall  be  more 
tolerable  for  Sodom  and  Gomorrah  in  that  day  than 
for  that  city."  If  I  reach  Tihran,  the  capital,  I  shall 
have  travelled  through  Persia  for  five  hundred  miles 
without  seeing  a  missionary  or  a  Christian. 

It  was  not  till  February  26  that  she  and  Major 
Sawyer  arrived  at  Tihran,  where  they  were  invited 
to  stay  at  the  British  Legation  with  Sir  Henry 
Drummond  Wolff.  The  journey  from  Kirmanshah 
had  been  even  worse  than  the  earlier  marches  so 
graphically  described  in  her  book  and  letters.  Over 
passes  where  fierce  blasts  met  them,  over  waterless 
regions  of  black  rock  and  gravel,  and  finally  through 
the  deep  mud  of  the  Kavir,  or  Great  Salt  Desert, 
they  rode  and  stumbled,  camping  in  utter  misery, 
her  brief  hours  of  rest  often  occupied  with  making 
poultices  and  compresses  for  the  soldiers  and  muleteers 
who,  blinded  by  the  snow  and  sick  with  fatigue, 
were  many  of  them  in  a  desperate  condition.  Six 
of  them  indeed  succumbed,  and  rumours  preceded 
their  arrival  at  Tihran  that  the  whole  caravan  had 
perished  upon  one  of  the  most  formidable  passes, 
where  a  demoniacal  wind  met  them  with  havoc  in 
its  blasts,  spreading  pleurisy  amongst  the  men, 
sickness  and  snow-blindness  amongst  the  mules. 
Mrs.  Bishop's  saddle-mule  broke  down,  and  Major 
Sawyer  lent  her  one  of  the  Arab  horses  which  he 
had  brought. 

It  is  a  triumph  of  race  [she  wrote  the  day  after  their 
arrival  at  Tihran]  that  we  are  here  at  all,  and  the  same 


applies  to  the  splendid  Arab  horses,  which,  though  half 
dead  from  their  efforts  yesterday,  plunged  through  the 
twenty  miles  of  mire  without  a  fall.  I  was  done  last 
night,  and  in  such  anguish  in  my  side  and  spine  that, 
having  been  laid  down  before  a  fire,  I  stayed  there  all 
night.  I  have  lost  32  Ib.  weight  in  the  forty-six  days 
of  our  march  from  Baghdad !  The  Sona  Pass  was 
the  worst  experience,  and  four  muleteers  a  little  way 
ahead  did  actually  perish  from  the  merciless  blast. 

For  a  time  it  seemed  to  her  that  there  was  not 
enough  in  Persia  to  repay  the  tremendous  risks  of 
travel  there,  but  she  revised  this  impression  when 
rest  and  the  great  kindness  of  her  host  and  her 
missionary  friends  restored  the  normal  tranquillity 
of  her  judgment.  Her  safe  arrival  was  at  once 
telegraphed  to  England  and  India  by  Major  Wells, 
the  Director  of  Telegraphs,  and  a  few  hours  later 
she  was  receiving  despatches  of  congratulation  from 
both  friends  and  strangers. 

After  three  weeks'  stay — the  incidents  of  which 
occupy  thirty  pages  of  her  book  on  Persia,  Sir  Henry 
Drummond  Wolffs  untiring  kindness  being  chief 
amongst  them — she  felt  well  enough  not  only  for 
her  ride  to  Isfahan,  but  to  contemplate  one  far  more 
adventurous  into  the  mountains  of  Luristan,  within 
the  protection  of  Major  Sawyer's  escort,  but  on 
such  strict  conditions  as  to  leave  her  practically 
dependent  on  her  own  resource  and  courage.  These 
conditions  were  dictated  by  the  nature  of  Major 
Sawyer's  expedition,  one  of  extreme  importance. 
The  ride  to  Isfahan  was  easy  and  occupied  only 
twelve  days,  two  of  which  were  spent  at  Kum. 

Mrs.  Bishop  was  invited  to  take  up  her  quarters 
in  the  Church  Mission  House  at  Julfa,  and  was  there 
for  some  weeks.  Dr.  Bruce  arrived  some  days  after 
her.  He  had  stayed  several  weeks  longer  at  Baghdad 


1890]  JULFA  225 

and  had  taken  the  shorter  caravan  route  by  Bushire 
and  Shiraz  to  Julfa,  which  can  be  traversed  in  from 
thirty  to  thirty-five  days.  Dr.  Bruce  writes : 

My  wife,  daughter,  and  myself  greatly  enjoyed  her 
sojourn  with  us  for  the  month  of  April,  1890.  She 
took  the  keenest  interest  in  the  work  of  the  mission 
and  was  a  most  delightful  guest,  whom  it  was  a 
privilege  to  entertain. 

Julfa  is  the  Armenian  suburb  of  Isfahan,  and  she 
was  glad  to  reach  it  after  a  painful  and  dangerous 
experience  in  the  meaner  streets  of  the  city,  where 
she  was  hooted,  spat  upon,  and  howled  at  by  a 
rabble  of  fanatical  men  and  boys.  The  sheep-skin 
coat  which  she  had  worn  during  her  ride  became 
oppressive  and  she  had  reverted  to  European  dress, 
so  that  the  absence  of  the  usual  shroud  drew  attention 
to  her  as  a  "  Nazarene."  Julfa  "  was  a  haven  from 
the  howling  bigots  of  Isfahan." 

Mrs.  Bishop  wrote  a  most  interesting  letter  to 
Miss  Clayton  from  Julfa,  much  of  which  may  be 
quoted  : 

I  was  yesterday  away  from  England  fourteen  months, 
the  longest  absence  I  have  ever  had — and  when,  if  ever, 
shall  I  see  its  dear,  green,  misty  shores  again  ?  My 
steps  will  begin  to  turn  northward  (D.V.)  on  the  28th, 
for  a  march  of  a  thousand  miles.  My  camp  is  now 
pitched  in  the  hospital  compound,  my  Cabul  tent  and 
the  shiddari,  and  a  small  tent  that  I  have  designed,  an 
enlarged  shuldari  for  the  servants.  This  afternoon  I 
have  been  refitting  my  dear  old  tent  with  new  ropes. 
I  wonder  what  experiences  I  shall  have  in  it.  I  have 
just  read  The  Greatest  Thing  in  the  World,  and  wish  to 
act  out  the  courtesy  and  kindness  which  it  enjoins 
among  the  savages  and  muleteers.  That  is  indeed 
a  splendid  book.  Possibly  there  are  one  or  two 
phrases  and  omissions  to  which  a  few  rigid  people 
might  take  exception,  but  I  am  always  seeing  more 


strongly  that  doing  is  Christianity,  and  possibly  many 
of  us  have  paid  a  disproportionate  attention  to  what 
we  believe.  It  is  a  striking  remark  that  at  the  judg- 
ment the  verdict  is  given  only  on  what  has  been  done 
or  not  done. 

On  Tuesday  there  was  the  yearly  picnic  of  the 
Armenian  congregation  at  a  palace  down  the  river. 
I  rode  to  it  in  the  afternoon.  There  were  260 
people,  and  all  the  women  but  three  came  in  red. 
On  Monday  the  horse  with  his  "  neck  clothed  with 
thunder  "  and  the  cavalry  escort  came  again,  and  I  met 
the  Commander-in-chief,  Mya  Panch,  and  Dr.  Bruce 
at  the  great  Mosque,  the  Medrasseh,  whose  splendid 
tiles  are  a  lost  art.  From  thence  we  went  to  the 
armoury,  where  we  were  joined  by  General  Faisarullah 
Khan  and  another  general.  They  all  did  their  best  to 
make  the  afternoon  agreeable,  and  gave  us  tea  in  the 
standard  room. 

The  Mya  Panch  seems  a  splendid  character  and 
respected  by  all.  He  offered  me  a  military  escort  for 
my  journey,  but  I  declined.  Yesterday  Major  Sawyer 
gave  a  picnic  at  the  top  of  a  mountain  to  the  Euro- 
peans of  Julfa — eight,  five  of  whom  were  the  mission 
party.  In  coming  down  a  very  bad  place  my  saddle 
slipped  over  the  horse's  head  and  turned,  and  it  and  I 
came  off  together.  Then  later,  after  dark,  this  horse 
was  terribly  frightened  by  some  ghostly  object  and 
nearly  threw  me,  and  somehow  struck  my  forehead 
violently  with  his  head,  almost  stunning  me.  The 
dazed  feeling  has  only  just  gone  off,  and  there  is  a 
lump  on  my  forehead.  By  means  of  riding  I  have  not 
become  so  poorly  as  I  usually  am  when  I  lead  a  seden- 
tary life.  It  is  very  pleasant  here,  though  I  see  and 
hear  many  fearful  things.  I  miss  Mr.  Carless  very 
much.  He  left  two  days  ago  for  Yezd— a  bright, 
sanctified  spirit,  a  Christian  under  all  circumstances, 
and  consequently  respected  by  every  one.  The  Ilkhani 
(the  great  feudal  chief  of  the  bakhtiaris)  is  disposed  to 
be  most  kind,  and,  in  addition  to  the  letters  which 
I  have  from  the  Persian  Government,  my  Persian 
friends  here  have  secured  his  good-will,  so  that, 
whether  my  camp  separates  from  the  surveying  camp 
or  not,  I  think  I  shall  do  well.  The  Ilkhani's  son,  who 
lives  eight  marches  from  here,  sent  in  a  horseman  to 
see  me  and  attend  me,  and  also  wrote  to  the  Mya 

,890]  MAJOR  SAWYER  227 

Panch  most  courteously.     So  I  think  'that  I  shall  not 
have  to  come  back,  but  that  literally  I  shall — 


Nightly  pitch  my  moving  tent 
A  day's  march  nearer  home. 

ajor  Sawyer  is  making  an  immense  sensation  in  this 
minute  community,  which  vegetates  in  superlative 
stagnation.  His  splendid  appearance,  force  of  char- 
acter, wit,  brutal  frankness,  ability,  and  kind-hearted- 
ness make  a  great  breeze,  and  I  hear  that  his  sayings 
and  doings  are  the  one  topic.  He  has  shown  a  great 
deal  of  good  feeling  in  some  very  difficult  circum- 
stances. I  have  only  seen  him  once  here  for  a  few 
minutes  to  talk  with  ;  but  we  are  very  good  comrades, 
and  I  hope  and  believe  that  in  the  wonderful  journey 
before  us  nothing  will  happen  worse  than  a  little 
friction,  which  will  not  affect  the  good-comradeship. 
I  want  to  get  all  the  good  out  of  Drummond's  booklet 
I  before  leaving.  I  have,  then,  no  books  but  the  Bible, 
|  Brother  Bartholomew,  another  R.C.  book,  and  L Outre 
Manche,  with  a  French  grammar. 

Things  at  Baghdad  are  far  worse  than  I  wrote ;  the 

fury  of  Islam    is   quenchless.     Numbers   have    been 

|  beaten,  and  the  work  among  Mohammedans  is  prac- 

|  tically  at  an  end.     Mrs.  Sutton,  Christlieb's  daughter, 

I  had  gone  to  Basrah  for  a  change,  and  came  back  as 

|  soon  as  she  heard  of  the  danger.     That's  the  sort  of 

|  wife  for  a  missionary.     The  contrast  between  the  de- 

|  votion  to  Mahomet  generally  and  the  limited  devotion 

to  Christ  is  always  very  saddening. 

On  April  30  the  expedition  to  the  Bakhtiari  country 
i  began.  The  terms  of  agreement  were  strict.  Her 
I  caravan  was  to  be  as  much  as  possible  independent 
of  Major  Sawyer's,  only  she  had  leave  to  camp  within 
the  ring  of  his  sentries.  She  was  well  and  full  of 
anticipation.  But  the  ride  from  Kirmanshah  to  Tihran 
had  left  its  mark  upon  her.  Her  abundant  dark  hair 
j  had  grey  streaks,  and  she  was  battered  and  bruised 
by  various  mishaps.  Her  preparations  were  none 
the  less  made  without  misgiving.  Sacks  of  food  for 
forty-five  days  were  provided  and  sealed,  and  these 


contained  many  tins  of  preserved  meat,  milk,  and 
jam,  given  to  her  by  Sir  Henry  Drummond  Wolff. 
She  purchased  tablets  of  soup,  tea,  candles,  and 
saccharin  herself.  Rice  and  flour  were  to  be  had 
after  seven  days'  march,  and  an  empty  packing-case 
was  added  to  her  baggage  in  which  to  store  them. 
She  bought  presents  for  the  mountaineers,  and  took 
with  her  a  medicine  chest  equipped  with  essential 
remedies  before  she  left  England,  and  further  fur- 
nished by  Dr.  Odling  at  Tihran  with  surgical 
instruments  and  quinine.  Four  baggage  mules  and 
a  horse  were  engaged,  their  owner  and  his  son  going 
with  them,  and  two  servants,  Hassan  the  cook  and 
Mirza  Yusuf  the  interpreter. 

It  was  on  the  whole  a  most  satisfactory  caravan, 
but  "  Screw,"  her  new  horse,  never  pleased  her  so 
much  as  the  Arab  "  whose  neck  was  clothed  with 
thunder."  Mr.  Douglas  and  Miss  Bruce  rode  three 
marches  with  her,  to  Pul-i-Wargun,  to  Rio,  and  to 
Chamini,  where  they  left  her  on  the  frontier  of  the 
Bakhtiari  country.  The  time  assigned  to  this  difficult 
expedition  was  more  than  doubled.  Mrs.  Bishop's 
vivid  diary  of  the  hundred  days'  adventures  occupies 
about  400  pages  of  her  book  on  Persia.  Hardships 
marked  the  whole  period.  Her  camp  was  daily 
invaded  by  diseased,  wounded,  infirm  people — men, 
women,  and  children.  She  ministered  tirelessly  to 
them  all  and  acted  as  well  in  the  capacity  of  vet.  to  the 
horses  and  mules.  Again  and  again  the  men  whom 
she  benefited  stole  her  provisions,  her  utensils,  her 
personal  comforts ;  often  her  life  was  in  great  danger. 

Only  one  beautiful  incident  relieved  the  crass  self- 
ishness of  the  mountain  people.  Major  Sawyer 
halted  for  some  days  at  a  place  called  Chighakor, 
close  to  the  Ilkhani's  residence.  Here,  one  of  the 

1890]  "THE  HAKIM   FOR   US"  229 

minor  chiefs,  perhaps  Kulla  Khan,  perhaps  Ilbege 
Khan,  came  to  her  for  medicine,  which  she  gladly 
gave  him.  Lingering  in  her  tent,  he  asked  her  why 
she  ministered  to  people  unknown  to  her,  without 
demanding  a  recompense.  This  was  her  opportunity, 
and  she  told  him,  through  Mirza  Yusuf,  the  story  of 
Christ,  whose  anxiety  for  the  physical  well-being  of 
the  people  whom  He  had  come  spiritually  to  save, 
was  so  great  that  He  spent  His  days  in  going  from 
village  to  village  to  heal  their  disease  and  rescue 
them  even  from  death.  When  he  had  heard  all  she 
tried  to  say,  he  looked  at  her  with  piteous  entreaty  in 
his  eyes.  "  He  is  the  Hakim  for  us,"  he  said ;  "  send 
us  such  a  one  as  He  was." 

Major  Sawyer's  expedition  ended  at  Burujird,  and 
here  on  August  10  she  was  left  to  her  own  resources. 
These  never  failed  her  ;  but  just  when  she  might  have 
hoped  for  rest  and  comfort,  all  her  tea,  her  provisions, 
and  table  equipments  were  stolen,  and  a  few  days 
later  a  charming  Persian  horse,  which  she  bought  to 
replace  "  Screw,"  was  taken  also,  although  after  some 
days  the  thief  was  discovered  and. "Boy"  restored. 
Her  mules  and  "  Screw "  returned  to  Isfahan  with 
Hadji,  their  proprietor,  and  she  was  compelled  to 
make  up  a  new  caravan  for  the  long  march  westwards 
which  she  now  proposed. 

All  thought  of  returning  to  Julfa  was  dismissed,  so 
severe  and  perilous  had  been  the  transit  over  the 
Bakhtiari  mountains,  and  she  decided  to  make  her 
way  by  Hamadan,  through  Western  Persia  to  Urmi 
and  thence  through  Kurdistan  and  Armenia  to 
Trebizond  on  the  Black  Sea.  It  was  a  march  of  a 
thousand  miles,  and  she  had  just  completed  the  rough 
ride  from  Julfa  to  Burujird,  700  miles  of  hardship. 
Before  that  she  had  ridden  800  miles  from  Baghdad 


to  Isfahan,  making  1,500  miles  on  saddle-mule,  Arab 
horse,  and  Persian  horse,  and  the  remaining  journey 
seemed  light  in  comparison  with  what  she  had  already 

But  she  knew  little  of  the  people  amongst  whom 
she  was  to  travel  and  sojourn.  She  was  in  complete 
ignorance  of  the  Armenian  Question  and  its  com- 
plications at  that  time,  and  she  was  on  the  whole 
attracted  by  the  Kurds  and  prejudiced  against  the 

When  Major  Sawyer  left  Burujird  to  return  to 
Isfahan,  they  bade  each  other  good-bye  as  comrades 
who  had  gone  through  difficulty,  danger,  and  privation 
together.  Mrs.  Bishop  engaged  mules  and  their 
charvadar,  or  proprietor,  rode  "  Boy "  herself  and 
reached  Ramadan,  after  ten  marches,  on  August  26. 
Here  she  stayed  nearly  three  weeks  in  the  American 
Mission  House,  the  first  week  occupied  with  a  spinal 
collapse,  through  which  she  was  ably  nursed  by 
Mrs.  Alexander  and  Miss  Montgomery. 

She  was  up  and  about  again  on  September  2,  and 
explored  Hamadan  and  all  the  missionary  work  going 
on  there.  The  city  she  found  "  ruinous,  filthy, 
decayed,  and  unprosperous-looking,"  out  of  which— 

No  legerdemain  can  recreate  the  once  magnificent 
Ecbatana,  said  by  the  early  Greek  writers  to  have 
been  scarcely  inferior  to  Babylon  in  size  and 
splendour,  with  walls  covered  with  plates  of  gold, 
and  fortifications  of  enormous  strength— the  capital 
of  Arbaces  after  the  fall  of  Nineveh,  and  the  summer 
resort  of  the  "  Great  King." 

She  visited  Esther's  Tomb,  and  made  inquiries  as  to 
the  condition  of  the  Jews  in  Hamadan,  a  pitiable  con- 
dition only  modified  by  the  American  missionaries 
who  make  these  unfortunate  people  their  especial  care. 

1890]  ROBBERS  231 

It  was  not  till  September  15  that  Mrs.  Bishop  began 
the  first  stage  of  her  march  to  Trebizond.  She  was 
unfortunate  in  her  charvadar,  from  whom  she  agreed 
to  take  five  mules  for  the  march  to  Urmi,  a  distance  of 
309  miles.  He  was  a  Turk  and  a  bully,  and  refused 
to  keep  to  the  terms  of  his  contract.  Mirza  Yusuf 
remained  in  her  service  and  she  engaged  a  young 
Armenian,  who  spoke  both  Persian  and  Turkish,  to 
look  after  the  commissariat.  At  the  second  halt, 
Kooltapa,  she  was  ill  and  feverish,  annoyed  by 
Sharban,  the  charvadar,  who  forced  her  to  travel 
along  with  a  large  caravan  which  he  was  sending  to 
Urmi,  and  the  noise  of  which  was  maddening.  As 
she  lay  shivering  with  fever,  she  heard  steps  inside  her 
tent.  She  sprang  up,  seized  her  revolver  and  fired 
blank  cartridge  several  times  in  the  direction  which 
they  took.  Next  morning  she  discovered  that  almost 
everything  on  which  she  depended  for  comfort, 
including  much  clothing  and  all  her  toilet  apparatus, 
was  gone.  Sketches,  notes  of  travel,  pencils,  and  gold 
pen  were  amongst  the  spoil.  She  had  to  get  native 
shoes  and  make  herself  a  kind  of  turban  to  replace 
the  cork  helmet  indispensable  in  the  East. 

It  was  not  till  Sharban  discovered  that  Mrs.  Bishop 
bore  letters  to  the  Governors  en  route  that  he  realised 
that  this  delicate,  soft-voiced  Feringhi  could  not  be 
cheated,  bullied,  and  maltreated  with  impunity.  Then 
he  was  in  a  cowardly  fright,  implored  mercy,  and 
despatched  the  big  caravan  northwards  by  itself.  At 
Bijar  the  Governor  sent  eight  soldiers  to  mount 
guard  round  her  tent,  and  this  completed  the  taming 
of  Sharban. 

The  march  was  full  of  difficulties,  and  Mrs.  Bishop 
was  thankful  to  reach  Urmi  on  October  7  and  to 
rest  there  for  a  week,  entertained  by  the  missionaries 


— medical,  educational,  and  evangelistic — of  both 
Anglican  and  American  churches.  Urmi  was  an 
extended  oasis  of  beauty  and  fertility  compared  with 
the  barren  mountain  regions  through  which  she  had 
ridden  for  months. 

I  know  now  pretty  well  what  to  expect  in  Persia 
[she  wrote  on  the  day  of  her  arrival] ;  not  to  look  for 
surprises  of  beauty  and  luxuriance,  and  to  be  satisfied 
with  occasional  oases  of  cultivation  among  brown, 
rocky,  treeless  hills,  varied  by  brown  villages  with 
crops  and  spindly  poplars  and  willows,  contrasting 
with  the  harsh  barrenness  of  the  surrounding  gravelly 
waste — but  beautiful  Urmi,  far  as  the  eye  can  reach, 
is  one  oasis. 

Mr.  Laboree  met  her  four  miles  from  the  American 
Presbyterian  Mission  House,  to  which  he  escorted 
her,  and  Dr.  Shedd,  Principal  of  the  Urmi  College, 
invited  her  to  be  his  guest.  She  was  placed  in 
most  favourable  circumstances  for  making  herself 
acquainted  with  missionary  work  in  Urmi.  There 
were  four  agencies — the  American  Presbyterian,  the 
Anglican,  the  French  Lazarist,  and  the  Medical 
Mission.  Her  observations  and  acquired  information 
are  admirably  summed  up  in  a  chapter  of  "  Notes," 
occupying  pp.  221-34  of  the  second  volume  of  her 
Journeys  in  Persia. 

Her  health  in  Urmi  was  excellent,  and  she  visited 
these  communities  repeatedly.  But  the  season  was 
late,  so  she  replenished  her  stores  and  organised 
her  next  march  through  what  remained  of  Persian 
Kurdistan,  to  be  followed  by  a  lengthy  progress 
through  Turkish  Kurdistan  to  Van.  She  chartered 
a  caravan  and  a  set  of  Kurdish  katirgis  with  horses 
for  the  baggage  and  her  servants.  The  Kurds  proved 
to  be  intolerable— insolent,  violent,  disobedient,  and 
mutinous ;  but  although  she  was  warned  at  Urmi, 


and  knew  the  hazard  of  committing  herself  to  their 
escort,  she  had  no  alternative,  and  could  only  protect 
herself  by  engaging  a  Syrian  priest  as  interpreter 
till  she  reached  Van.  At  Urmi  she  came  into  contact 
with  Christian  Syrians  or  Nestorians.  Some  twenty 
thousand  of  these  lived  on  the  Urmi  Plain,  within 
the  Persian  frontier,  and  although  they  were  quiet 
and  industrious,  she  describes  them  as  ignorant,  super- 
stitious, untruthful,  avaricious,  and  untrustworthy. 

She  started  from  Urmi  on  October  14  with  an 
encouraging  "  send-off,"  nearly  the  whole  missionary 
and  medical  staff  riding  out  to  Anhar  with  her.  She 
lade  this  her  first  halt,  staying  all  night  at  the 
festorian  pastor's  house,  and  here  her  interpreter 
>ined  the  caravan. 

When  all  my  kind  friends  left  me  [she  wrote],  and  I 
ralked  alone  in  the  frosty  twilight  on  the  roof  of  my 
:omfortable  room  in  the  priest's  house,  and  looked 
towards  the  wall  of  the  frontier  mountains  through 
rhich  my  journey  lay,  I  felt  an  unwonted  elation  at 
the  prospect  before  me,  which  no  possible  perils  from 
Kurds  or  from  the  sudden  setting-in  of  winter  could 
"  imp,  and  thus  far  the  interest  is  much  greater  even 
:han  I  expected. 

In  the  afflatus  of  this  mood  she  had  hardly  crossed 
the  frontier  than  she  went  to  visit  a  famous  political 

>rigand,  Hesso  Khan,  of  whom  she  gives  a  picturesque 
description.  On  the  second  day's  march  her  katirgis 
threw  down  the  loads  and  decamped ;  but  she  got 
two  others  at  a  village  on  the  frontier  stream,  and 
they  went  with  her  as  far  as  Marbishu— "  rude, 

>rimitive,  colourless,  its  dwellings  like  the  poorest 
>w-sheds,  clinging  to  mountain  sides  and  spires  of 
rock."  It  was,  besides,  desolated  by  marauding 

>rigands.     The  country  was  infested  by  the  Kurds, 

'ho    attacked    its    villages,    insulted,    robbed,    and 


murdered  the  Nestorians,  desecrated  their  churches, 
and  harried  their  farms.  She  passed  through  several 
of  these  impoverished  and  terrorised  villages  on  her 
way.  No  wonder  that  in  the  gloomy  little  church, 
walled  as  thickly  as  a  fortress,  and  used  as  their 
refuge  when  attacked,  the  unhappy  villagers  of  Mar- 
bishu  chant  daily  the  pathetic  prayer  :  "  Give  us  by 
Thy  mercy  a  peaceful  day.  Scatter,  O  Lord,  in  the 
world  love,  peace,  and  unity.  Raise  up  righteous 
kings,  priests,  and  judges." 

On  the  very  morning  of  her  arrival  Kurdish  horse- 
men had  stolen  twenty  sheep  ;  on  its  afternoon  they 
returned  for  cattle.  Armed  guards  were  added  to 
her  caravan  because  she  was  a  British  subject,  and 
some  of  the  country  people  who  were  travelling 
besought  her  protection. 

Contact  with  these  oppressed  Syrian  Christians 
worked  a  complete  change  in  Mrs.  Bishop's  esti- 
mate of  their  national  character.  She  had  been  as 
utterly  ignorant  as  we  all  are  concerning  them,  and 
she  freely  confessed  her  ignorance.  Now  to  her 
open  mind  came  the  astonishing  truth  like  a  revela- 
tion. If  the  Nestorians  of  Urmi's  fertile  plain  had 
degenerated  in  faith  and  character,  these  peasants 
in  their  mountain  fastnesses,  absolutely  helpless  and 
at  the  mercy  of  brutal  marauders  and  of  fiendish 
misgovernment,  were  daily  faithful  unto  death,  des- 
pising all  things  that  belong  to  this  life  rather  than 
betray  Christ.  It  is  wonderful  that,  martyred  as 
they  were,  and  that  in  a  myriad  ways  more  hideous 
than  Pagan  Rome  ever  invented,  they  never  flinched 
and  never  denied  their  Saviour.  She  realised  that- 
Through  ages  of  accumulating  wrongs  and  almost 
unrivalled  misery,  they,  like  us,  have  worshipped  the 
crucified  Nazarene  as  the  crowned  and  risen  Christ; 

,890]  "WE   PASS  AWAY"  235 

that  to  Him,  with  us,  they  bend  the  adoring  knee ;  and 
that,  like  us,  they  lay  their  dead  in  consecrated  ground 
to  await  through  Him  a  joyful  resurrection. 

Had  they  given  way  and  accepted  the  creed  of 
their  Moslem  oppressors,  their  threatened  lives  would 
probably  have  been  spent  in  comparative  peace, 
and  the  marvel  is  that  they  preferred  Christ  and 
martyrdom  to  Mahomet  and  security.  It  was  in  the 
villages  of  the  plain  of  Gawar  that  the  climax  of 
this  revolution  in  her  opinion  was  reached.  Some 
twenty  Christian  villages  are  on  this  plain,  and  from 
them  fifteen  thousand  sheep  had  been  driven  off 
between  June  and  October  of  that  year.  Mrs.  Bishop 
halted  for  a  week  in  Gawar,  and  lodged  with  these 
people  in  their  houses,  most  of  them  built  below  the 
ground.  Even  during  her  stay  houses  were  sur- 
rounded, men  shot,  women  maltreated,  and  property 
burned  or  carried  off. 

"The  men  of  Government,"  they  said,  "are  in 
partnership  with  the  Kurds,  and  receive  of  their  gains. 
This  is  our  curse." 

In  semi-darkness  she  was  visited  by  some  of  the 
Christian  priests  and  deacons,  while  she  lived  in  a 
subterranean  stable.  They  pleaded  with  her  to  send 
them  teachers  from  England,  lamenting  the  ignorance 
to  which  constant  peril  condemned  them,  and  which 
hindered  them  from  helping  their  poor  peasant  con- 
gregations fully  to  understand  the  great  doctrines 
of  Christianity.  One  of  them,  who  represented  others 
not  present,  said  to  her :  "  Beseech  for  a  teacher  to 
come  and  sit  among  us  and  lighten  our  darkness 
before  we  pass  away  as  the  morning  shadows.  We 
are  blind  guides,  we  know  nothing,  and  our  people 
are  as  sheep  lost  upon  the  mountains.  When  they 
go  down  into  the  darkness  of  their  graves  we  know 


not  how  to  give  them  any  light,  and  so  we  all  perish." 
She  answered  that  England  would  find  it  difficult 
to  raise  funds  for  such  an  object.  "  England  is  very 
rich/'  said  the  priest,  who  was  himself  destitute  and 
in  hourly  danger. 

From  that  day  in  October,  1890,  Mrs.  Bishop's 
attitude  towards  Christian  mission  work  was  one 
of  uncompromising  and  unflinching  support.  There 
had  been  a  time  when  she  would  make  a  detour  of 
twenty  miles  to  avoid  a  mission  station,  being  not 
only  apathetic  about  its  work,  but  in  some  degree 
averse  to  its  interference  with  native  creeds  and 
its  too  frequent  political  indiscretion.  Then  had 
come  the  strong  missionary  influence  of  her  husband 
and  along  with  it  a  considerable  weakening  of  her 
faith  in  churches — as  churches— a  weakening  due  to 
their  own  grotesque  attitude  as  hostile  institutions. 
But  as  ecclesiastical  Christianity  declined,  the  spirit 
of  Christ  increased  in  her,  mellowing,  sweetening, 
broadening,  and  inspiring  her  to  a  larger  human 
tenderness  for  all,  a  wise  tolerance  of  even  bickering 
churches,  a  keen  discernment  of  Christ  in  men,  how- 
ever marred  His  image  might  be,  and  to  a  deep,  instant, 
urgent  yearning  to  bring  the  whole  world  to  a  know- 
ledge of  Him.  This  development  dated  from  the 
meeting  in  a  dark  stable-dwelling  on  Gawar  Plain. 

There  was  now  no  remnant  of  respect  left  in  her 
mind  for  the  religions  of  the  East,  and  she  writes : 

Several  of  the  Asiatic  faiths,  and  notably  Buddh- 
ism, started  with  noble  conceptions  and  a  morality 
far  in  advance  of  their  age.  But  the  good  has  been 
mainly  lost  out  of  them  in  their  passage  down  the 
centuries,  and  Buddhism  in  China  is  now  much  on  a 
level  with  the  idolatries  of  barbarous  nations.  There 
is  nothing  to  arrest  the  further  downward  descent  of 
the  systems  so  effete  yet  so  powerful  and  interwoven 

1890]        THE  NESTORIAN   PATRIARCH        237 

with  the  whole  social  life  of  the  nation.     There  is  no 
resurrection  power  in  any  of  them." 

While  she  was  at  Gahgoran,  sleeping  in  a  granary 
in  the  priest's  house,  she  was  wakened  by  muffled 
sounds.  She  rose,  took  her  revolver,  went  into  the 
passage  and  looked  through  the  chinks  of  the  outer 
door.  A  number  of  armed  Kurds  were  in  front,  so 
she  went  back  to  the  granary  and  fired  several  times 
to  rouse  the  dogs  and  some  strangers,  who  had 
come  to  meet  Mar  Shimun,  the  Nestorian  Patriarch, 
and  two  bishops  who  were  in  the  village  on  business. 
They  rushed  out  and  drove  the  Kurds  away  from 
the  stable,  where  they  were  stealthily  abstracting 
horses  which  belonged  to  the  visitors.  The  Patriarch 
invited  Mrs.  Bishop  to  visit  him  at  Kochanes,  and 
on  her  way  thither  she  met  Mr.  Browne,  a  member 
of  the  Anglican  Mission  at  Urmi,  who  devoted  himself 
to  the  Syrians  of  the  mountains.  The  Bishop  of 
Urmi  was  with  her,  and  Mr.  Browne  turned  back 
with  his  baggage  mules  to  accompany  them  and  to 
stay  at  Kochanes  during  the  six  days  of  her  residence. 
He  told  her  the  sum  of  his  four  years'  acquain- 
tance with  these  tortured  Nestorians,  information 
which  proved  to  be  of  great  value  to  her  on  her 
return  to  England. 

The  Patriarch's  sister  installed  her  in  a  comfort- 
able room  of  his  fortified  house,  its  window  looking 
across  a  ravine  to  wild,  snow-crested  mountains, 
whose  flanks  were  covered  with  scrub  oak,  golden 
and  russet.  The  place  was  almost  a  stronghold,  so 
necessary  was  protection  from  the  Kurds. 

Mar  Shimun  did  not  return  from  Gahgoran  till 
the  24th,  and  Mrs.  Bishop  occupied  the  intervening 
days  in  sketching  the  church,  with  its  engraved  stones, 
visiting  the  patriarchs'  tombs,  and  in  making  notes 


of  her  new  and  strange  surroundings,  whose  graphic 
detail  may  be  read  in  her  book  on  Persia.  As  he 
is  temporal  ruler  over  the  Ashirets,  the  Patriarch's 
castle  was  the  scene  of  constant  hospitality,  bustle, 
coming  and  going,  and  there  was  much  to  record  of 
the  double  life  of  Catholicus  and  chieftain.  Mr. 
Browne  interpreted  for  her,  and  she  saw  and  heard 
enough  to  complete  her  evidence  of  the  conditions 
under  pressure  of  which  the  unhappy  Nestorian 
Rayahs  maintain  their  precarious  existence  and  their 
inviolable  fidelity  to  a  church  which  once  numbered 
twenty-five  metro-political  provinces  and  whose  com- 
munion was  larger  than  that  of  all  Christendom 
outside  its  pale. 

Apostasy  would  be  immediate  emancipation  from 
terror  and  ruin,  but  it  is  nearly  unknown.  Their 
churches  are  like  catacombs.  Few  things  can  be  more 
pathetic  than  a  congregation  standing  in  the  dark 
and  dismal  nave,  kissing  the  common  wooden  cross, 
and  passing  from  hand  to  hand  the  kiss  of  peace,  while 
the  priest,  in  dress  like  their  own,  with  girdle  and  stole 
of  the  poorest  material,  moves  among  the  ancient 
liturgies  in  front  of  the  dusty  sanctuary,  leading  the 
worshippers  in  prayers  and  chants  which  have  come 
down  from  the  earliest  ages  of  Christianity— from  the 
triumphant  church  of  the  East  to  the  persecuted 
remnant  of  to-day. 

An  escort  of  two  zaptiehs  was  secured  after  some 
delay,  a  young  Kurd  undertook  the  care  of  her  mules 
and  baggage,  and  at  last  Mrs.  Bishop  closed  what 
she  considered  the  most  wonderful  visit  she  ever 
paid,  and  began  her  three  days'  march  to  Van, 
arriving  in  the  darkness  on  October  31,  and  riding 
straight  to  the  American  Mission  House,  where 
Dr.  Reynolds  made  her  warmly  welcome. 

Her  Kurdish  katirgi  proved  capable  and  cheerful, 

i89o]  THE  ARMENIANS  239 

although  he  occasionally  tried  to  rob  the  Christian 
threshing-floors  of  corn  for  the  horses  and  mules. 
She  was  now  in  Armenia.  The  roads  were  beset 
by  Kurds,  who  twice  attacked  her  caravan ;  but  the 
zaptiehs  behaved  pluckily,  and  when  the  robbers 
recognised  their  uniform  they  retreated. 

At  Khanjarak  she  lodged  in  a  subterranean  stable 
with  most  of  the  village  cattle — goats,  asses,  and 
sheep,  as  well  as  her  own  horses,  mules,  servants, 
and  escort.  In  one  of  the  wretched  Armenian  hamlets 
through  which  she  passed,  a  young  Armenian,  with 
whom  she  spoke  about  the  faith,  said  to  her,  "  We 
don't  know  much,  but  we  love  the  Lord  Jesus  well 
enough  to  die  for  Him." 

Here,  amongst  the  Armenians,  she  realised  again 
what  the  horrors  of  this  infamous  persecution  meant 
for  a  timid,  defenceless  people,  less  manly  than  the 
Nestorian  Rayahs,  in  many  ways  less  lovable,  but 
like  them,  "  faithful  unto  death."  During  the  night, 
at  Khanjarak,  twenty-three  sheep  were  driven  off  by 
armed  Kurds. 

Mrs.  Bishop  thought  favourably  of  the  Turkish 
peasants.  They  lived  peaceably  with  their  Armenian 
neighbours ;  it  was  the  Kurd  who  maltreated  these, 
although  their  murders,  robberies,  and  outrages  were 
winked  at,  if  not  absolutely  encouraged,  by  the 
Sublime  Porte,  which  could  easily  have  protected 
its  unhappy  subjects. 

In  Van  she  found  a  different  order  of  Armenians- 
industrious,  shrewd,  commercially  capable.  They  form 
an  important  factor  in  the  prosperity  of  the  city,  and 
show  considerable  public  spirit  and  interest  in  educa- 
tion. Mrs.  Bishop  was  relieved  to  reach  at  last  a 
city  well  furnished  with  shops,  where  she  could  re- 
place her  many  losses  and  buy  warm  winter  clothing. 


She  got  into  trouble  because  her  servants  had  not 
complied  with  all  the  Turkish  travelling  formalities, 
and  Johannes  was  arrested.  But  Mr.  Devey,  the 
British  Vice-consul,  arranged  the  affair,  and  she  sent 
Johannes  back  to  Ramadan,  and  engaged  an  excellent 
servant  in  his  place,  a  Turk  by  birth,  an  Irishman 
by  parentage,  called  Murphy  O'Rourke,  who  spoke 
English,  Turkish,  and  Armenian  equally  well.  During 
her  four  days'  halt  at  Van  she  gave  two  addresses, 
one  at  the  American  Church,  the  other  at  the  Girls' 

On  November  5  she  set  out  for  Erzeroum,  sixteen 
days'  journey,  four  of  them,  however,  occupied  with 
a  halt  at  Bitlis.  The  ride  to  Bitlis  was  beautiful, 
and  Dr.  Reynolds  went  with  her  the  whole  way. 
She  took  the  more  difficult  route,  sending  the  caravan 
round  by  the  northern  shore  of  Lake  Van.  The  way 
was  replete  with  interest — glorious  mountains,  the 
lovely  lake,  monasteries,  castles,  vestiges  of  the  old 
Armenian  splendour,  the  beautiful  village  of  Ghazit, 
shelter-khans,  the  infant  Tigris,  the  wild  and  stony 
valley  which  led  down  to  Bitlis,  a  spot  associated 
with  the  days  of  Alexander  the  Great,  and  now  one 
of  the  most  active  commercial  centres  of  Asiatic 
Turkey.  Here  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Knapp,  of  the  American 
Mission,  were  her  hosts.  She  stayed  with  them  five 
days,  and  gave  three  addresses  during  that  time- 
one  at  Miss  Ely's  girls'  school,  with  which  she  was 
delighted.  To  the  women  she  spoke  on  their  own 
sad  refrain,  "We  are  only  women,"  pointing  out 
what  women  can  be  and  do. 

Dr.     Reynolds    engaged     katirgis     and    a    zaptieh 
escort    for   her,    and    she    left    Bitlis    on    Thursdayl 
November  13,  two  of  the  missionaries  accompanying 
her  for  an  hour.     The  weather  was  now  very  cold, 

i89o]  ATTACK  BY   KURDS  241 

and  she  made  long  marches.  At  night  she  was 
exhausted  and  generally  slept  in  her  tent,  for  the 
atmosphere  of  the  khans  was  fetid,  and  a  guard 
had  to  be  set  against  marauders.  Her  route  was 
almost  due  north,  within  the  water-shed  of  the 
Euphrates,  and  she  forded  the  Murad-chai,  one  of 
its  tributaries. 

By  this  time  she  was  very  ill;  heavy  rain  began 
to  fall,  and  the  marches  grew  more  painful  and 
hazardous.  Once  a  band  of  mounted  brigands 
shadowed  the  caravan,  but  retreated  on  seeing  the 
zaptieh  uniform.  Fortunately  Mirza,  Murphy,  and 
the  soldiers  were  very  attentive  and  serviceable. 
She  had  the  gift  of  attaching  her  servants  to  her, 
of  whatever  race  or  creed  they  might  be,  and  these 
men  helped  her  through  difficulties  and  dangers  with 
cheerfulness  and  devotion.  There  were  strained 
relations  between  the  charvadar  and  Mirza,  as  the 
former,  who  loved  fun  and  was  a  mimic,  grew 
impatient  with  Mirza's  gentle  and  sentimental  ways. 
On  the  fifth  day's  march  they  encountered  a  terrible 
blizzard  on  Ghazloo  Pass,  which  forced  her  to  shorten 
the  day's  ride  and  take  shelter  in  a  horrible  khan, 
outside  of  which  her  tent  was  pitched  and  was 
attacked  by  Kurdish  robbers.  Her  own  servants 
were  worn  out  and  she  had  engaged  Kurdish  watchmen 
to  guard  her.  They  sprang  on  the  robbers,  beat 
down  two  of  them  and  drove  the  rest  away. 

All  along  the  route  her  eyes  witnessed  Kurdish 
depredations,  and  she  wrote : 

I  have  myself  seen  enough  to  convince  me  that  in 
the  main  the  statements  of  the  people  represent 
accurately  enough  the  present  reign  of  terror  in 
Armenia,  and  that  a  state  of  matters  nearly  approaching 
anarchy  is  now  existing  in  the  Vilayet  of  Erzeroum. 



It  took  her  eight  days  to  reach  Erzeroum  from 
Bitlis.  She  reached  the  city  on  Friday,  November  21, 
after  a  five  hours'  march  through  deep  snow,  and 
was  hospitably  housed  at  the  American  Mission 
House.  Here  she  rested  for  ten  days,  during  which 
time  she  made  herself  fully  acquainted  with  what 
were  called  the  "  Erzeroum  troubles."  Mr.  Hampson, 
acting  in  the  Consul's  absence,  the  French  Consul, 
and  others  gave  her  particulars.  Murphy  disappeared 
with  "  Boy,"  but  after  a  few  days  both  were  discovered 
in  a  low  quarter  of  the  town,  the  Turco-Irishman 
quite  drunk,  She  was  photographed  at  Erzeroum, 
sitting  on  her  beloved  horse  with  Mirza  and  Murphy 
in  attendance. 

December  2  was  the  date  of  her  start  on  the  final 
stage  of  this  adventurous  caravan  journey,  which 
had  begun  at  Burujird  on  August  9  and  ended  at 
Trebizond  on  December  12— four  months  of  most 
dangerous  travelling.  But  with  her  quiet  persistence, 
her  unflinching  courage,  her  power  of  command, 
her  independence  of  luxury,  her  superb  digestion 
which  conquered  strange  food  and  endured  its  lack, 
and  her  splendid  riding,  she  surmounted  every 
obstacle,  passed  almost  scatheless  through  every 
jeopardy,  observed,  recorded,  and  stored  all  that 
interested  her  and  gained  every  object  attainable  by 
the  enterprise. 

But  for  snow,  ice,  and  wind  the  march  from 
Erzeroum  to  Trebizond  would  have  been  delightful, 
and  at  all  events  it  was  neither  lonely  nor  dangerous, 
for  the  high  road  was  crowded  with  travellers  and 
their  caravans.  But  the  icy  descents  were  perilous 
and  she  often  dismounted  and  walked  to  spare  "  Boy." 
The  last  and  worst  of  these  descents  brought  her 
to  the  lovely  valley  of  the  Surmel,  with  its  homesteads, 

i89o]  BACK  TO   EDINBURGH  243 

orchards,  natural  forests  and  rushing  water,  and 
she  left  for  ever  "  the  bleak  mountains  and  poverty- 
stricken  plateaux  ravaged  by  the  Kurd,"  after  a  ride 
of  2,500  miles  from  Baghdad,  through  Persia,  Kurdistan, 
and  Armenia. 

One  day  was  spent  at  Trebizond,  and  then  she 
bade  Mirza  and  Murphy  good-bye,  and  embarked 
on  the  s.s.  Douro  for  Constantinople,  where  she 
spent  four  busy  days,  taking  the  Orient  Express  on 
December  22,  reaching  Paris  on  Christmas  Day, 
and  on  December  26  finding  herself  in  London  at 
6  a.m.  She  went  to  breakfast  with  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Murray,  lunched  with  Sir  Alfred  and  Lady  Lyall, 
stayed  all  night  at  the  Euston  Hotel,  and  travelled 
next  day  to  Edinburgh,  where  Professor  and  Mrs. 
Grainger  Stewart  welcomed  her  to  their  house  in 
Charlotte  Square. 



ON  New  Year's  Day,  1891,  Mrs.  Bishop  went  to  Mull 
for  a  glimpse  at  the  only  spot  on  earth  which  she  could 
now  call  home ;  but  she  did  little  more  than  alight  and 
leave,  returning  to  Edinburgh  on  January  3  to  spend 
two  days  with  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie.  She  left 
for  London  on  the  7th,  stopping  at  Huntingdon  on  the 
way.  On  the  8th  she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Macdonald  : 

The  Ouse  was  hard  frozen  at  Houghton ;  I  went 
to  see  Mrs.  Brown,  and  the  two  girls  skated  and  Percy 
pushed  me  four  miles  on  a  chair  sled — at  the  rate  of 
1 6  miles  an  hour!  Thirty-five  years  ago  I  used  to 
skate  with  numbers  of  the  village  folk  on  that  river, 
and  now  all  but  myself  and  one  other  are  in  eternity. 

One  object  of  her  journey  to  London  was  to  arrange 
with  Mr.  Murray  about  her  book  on  Persia,  one  of  the 
most  difficult  and  certainly  one  of  the  most  valuable 
books  she  ever  wrote.  Its  difficulty  was  due  to  her 
repeated  losses  of  notes,  diary-letters,  and  sketches 
from  robberies  at  Baghdad,  Julfa,  and  in  Turkish 
Kurdistan.  A  certain  number  of  the  diary-letters 
reached  Miss  Clayton  safely  and  were  locked  away. 
But  besides  straining  her  memory,  Mrs.  Bishop  had  to 
consult  books  of  reference  and  to  secure  correction 
of  her  statements  from  many  residents  in  the  countries 
traversed.  Fortunately  she  rarely  omitted  to  set 
down  some  lines  of  travel  in  her  pocket-diary,  so 



that  the  names  and  dates  of  her  stages  and  the  main 
incidents  of  her  long  rides  were  preserved.  The 
library  of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society  was  of 
especial  use  to  her.  But  except  for  visits  to  Mr. 
Murray,  and  for  some  very  necessary  shopping,  she 
spent  most  of  her  time  in  London  in  rest  and  quiet 
preparation  for  the  hard  task  before  her. 

Miss  Clayton  and  her  friends  were  in  Bournemouth, 
and  nowhere  could  she  begin  it  so  well  as  with  them. 
On  January  24  she  joined  them  at  Garthlands.  But 
a  great  shock  awaited  her  there.  Miss  Clayton  had 
fallen  down  a  steep  flight  of  stairs  backwards,  and 
was  suffering  from  concussion  of  the  brain  and  spine, 
and  for  three  months  she  was  scarcely  able  to  sit  up. 
At  the  end  of  April  Mrs.  Bishop  wrote  : 

She  is  now  able  to  drive  and  to  totter  about  a  little, 
but  is  so  frail  and  aged,  and  so  deaf.  Alas  !  the 
shadow  cannot  return  upon  the  dial,  and  she  will 
never  be  the  same  again,  will  never  help  and  advise 
and  be  leant  on.  You  [Mrs.  Macdiarmid],  who 
know  what  she  was  to  me  during  a  long  course  of 
years,  can  realise  how  very  sad  it  is. 

This  blow  seems  to  have  flung  her  back  into  the 
desolation  of  former  bereavements,  but  she  had  the 
solace  of  hard  work,  and  was  busy  reading  over  her 
diary-letters  on  January  26,  and  began  her  Journeys  in 
Persia  on  the  following  day.  She  worked  at  the 
book  steadily  for  three  months,  varying  her  toil  with 
occasional  missionary  addresses.  In  a  letter  to  Miss 
Macdonald,  dated  February  28,  she  says  : 

I  am  frightfully  busy.  I  have  literally  no  time.  I 
make  no  visits,  don't  read  or  work,  and  only  go 
out  for  exercise.  I  find  plenty  of  opportunity  for 
addressing  small  meetings  ana  working  parties  on 
the  subject  of  missions,  and  this  I  am  very  thankful  for, 

246  PUBLIC  WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

Then  on  March  26  she  wrote  to  the  same  corre- 
spondent : 

I  am  fearfully  busy.  I  have  to  speak  at  twenty 
missionary  meetings  in  May  and  June,  and  to  do  a 
great  deal  of  literary  work  besides  my  book. 

This  extra  literary  work  was  in  connection  with 
what  she  had  seen  of  the  persecutions  of  Christians 
in  Asiatic  Turkey,  and  part  of  it  consisted  of  two 
forceful  and  impressive  articles  in  The  Contemporary 
Review  for  May  and  June,  called  "The  Shadow  of 
the  Kurd,"  which  were  widely  read.  They  made 
indeed  some  stir,  for  they  were  the  actual  experience 
of  an  onlooker.  During  April  she  went  several  times 
to  London  to  deliver  addresses  at  the  Moravian 
Missionary  Meeting,  to  speak  at  Harley  House,  and 
on  the  2ist  to  dine  with  Mr.  Murray  for  the  purpose 
of  meeting  Mr.  Gladstone.  The  great  statesman 
took  her  down  to  dinner  and  questioned  her  keenly 
about  the  Kurdish  atrocities  amongst  Nestorians  and 
Armenians.  After  answering  him  with  all  possible 
detail,  she  turned  the  tables  by  saying,  "  Now, 
Mr.  Gladstone,  you  have  asked  me  a  great  many 
questions,  and  I  have  done  my  best  to  answer  them ; 
may  I  venture  to  ask  you  one?"  "Certainly,"  he 
said.  "Then,  what  was  the  Nestorian  heresy?" 
"Ah,"  said  he,  laying  down  his  knife  and  fork  and 
wheeling  round  in  his  chair,  "  that  is  a  matter  in 
which  I  am  profoundly  interested."  And  he  entered 
on  a  long,  learned,  and  precise  exposition  of  the 
heresy,  quoting  historians,  fathers  of  the  Church, 
modern  critics,  without  pause  or  failure  of  memory, 
and  at  the  end  of  half  an  hour  left  her  not  only 
amazed  at  his  vast  and  accurate  knowledge,  but 
conversant  with  the  whole  schism. 

1891]  COMMITTEE-ROOM   No.    15  247 

On  the  8th  began  the  May  meetings  to  so  many  of 
which  she  was  pledged — medical  mission,  Quaker 
meetings,  some  in  the  Lower  Exeter  Hall,  others  at 
Harley  House  and  at  various  Church  Halls. 

Her  articles  in  The  Contemporary  Review  had  roused 
in  the  minds  of  Mr.  Bryce,  Mr.  Caine,  and  other 
members  of  Parliament  a  strong  desire  to  hear  from 
her  further  particulars  of  the  atrocities  in  Turkish 
Kurdistan,  and  some  of  these  gentlemen  urged  her  to 
give  an  address  in  one  of  the  committee-rooms  of  the 
House  of  Commons  upon  points  raised  by  the  accounts 
coming  daily  from  the  East.  Men's  minds  were 
agitated  by  the  inrush  of  Armenians,  who  had  fled 
from  their  towns  and  villages  and  were  seeking 
refuge  in  this  country.  Real  knowledge  of  the 
situation  was  essential,  and  her  articles  indicated 
acquaintance  with  its  every  aspect,  and  with  details 
to  which  she  could  not  yet  give  the  publicity  of  print. 

At  first  she  was  averse  to  taking  so  unusual  and 
formidable  a  step ;  but  when  she  realised  that  she 
could  give  practical  help  in  dealing  with  this  terrible 
problem,  her  scruples  disappeared.  The  meeting  was 
held  on  June  18  in  Committee-room  No.  15,  an  historical 
spot.  She  declined  to  give  a  continuous  address,  on 
the  ground  that  by  so  doing  she  might  omit  what  her 
audience  particularly  desired  to  know ;  but  expressed 
her  readiness  to  answer  questions  at  length.  The 
room  was  filled  by  members  of  both  Houses,  some  of 
their  wives  being  present  as  well,  and  when  she  faced 
them  a  great  wave  of  nervousness  threatened  to  in- 
capacitate her  altogether.  But  she  subdued  it,  and 
was  occupied  from  5  to  6.30  in  explaining  as  clearly 
as  possible  the  relations  and  condition  of  the  various 
peoples  subject  to  the  Sublime  Porte,  and  the  de- 
fenceless position  of  Syrians  and  Armenians. 

248  PUBLIC  WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

The  impression  made  upon  her  hearers  by  her 
gentle  voice,  dignity  of  bearing,  modesty,  and  clearness 
of  statement  is  not  yet  forgotten.  This  afternoon  was 
perhaps  the  most  remarkable  she  ever  spent  in  public 
work,  and  it  had  been  prefaced  by  exceptional  ner- 
vousness. She  was  relieved  to  escape  from  its  tension 
to  the  Terrace,  where  she  had  tea  with  her  friends 
in  the  House  of  Commons,  after  which  the  group 
was  photographed. 

The  only  allusion  to  this  incident  in  her  corre- 
spondence is  contained  in  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Grainger 
Stewart,  written  prior  to  its  occurrence  : 

I  am  writing  six  hours  a  day,  and  besides  that  have 
had  a  great  deal  to  do  lately  in  preparing  some  state- 
ments for  a  subject  connected  with  foreign  politics  ! 
which  has  introduced  me  to  a  number  of  interesting 
acquaintances.  I  am  most  thankful  for  all  new  interests 
out  of  myself,  for  I  feel  that  without  them  my  sorrow- 
ful solitude  would  be  greater  than  I  can  bear. 

It  is  mentioned  in  her  diary  without  comment,  except 
as  to  her  great  nervousness. 

All  this  time  her  evenings  up  to  midnight  and 
her  mornings  were  devoted  to  her  book,  to  which 
she  had  returned  when  her  articles  for  The  Contem- 
porary were  finished.  But  she  was  well  enough  to 
lunch  out  a  good  deal,  and  just  before  her  appearance 
in  Committee-room  No.  15  she  paid  a  week's  visit  to 
Sir  Alfred  and  Lady  Lyall  at  Queen's  Gate.  Major 
Sawyer  was  in  town,  and  she  saw  him  several  times, 
and  attended  some  meetings  of  the  Royal  Geographical 

Her  numerous  engagements  interrupted  the  steady 
progress  of  her  book,  and  brought  on  an  attack  of 
sleeplessness,  the  worst  she  had  had  for  years,  and 
this  was  accompanied  by  intermittent  fever.  In 

,891]         THE  BRITISH  ASSOCIATION  249 

spite  of  her  lectures  and  addresses  she  usually  wrote 
six  hours  a  day,  and  when  there  was  no  outside 
evening  work  she  sometimes  wrote  for  nine  hours  out 
of  the  twenty-four.  By  the  middle  of  June  she  had 
spoken  at  seventeen  meetings,  and  nine  are  set  down 
in  her  diary  for  the  four  weeks  following  that  date. 

It  was  late  in  July  before  proofs  of  the  first  volume 
of  her  Persian  book  began  to  arrive  for  correction. 
She  was  then  in  lodgings  at  117  Adelaide  Road,  and 
paid  many  visits  to  the  Royal  Geographical  Society's 
library  and  to  the  War  Office.  One  to  Mr.  Curzon 
is  recorded  on  July  27.  She  took  all  possible  pains 
to  ensure  the  accuracy  of  her  book. 

There  was  that  feverish  restlessness  in  her  move- 
ments which  characterised  them  when  she  was  doing 
too  much  and  which  often  preceded  collapse.  It  was 
partly  due  to  the  cessation  from  movement,  surprise, 
adventure,  all  the  interests  of  travel,  and  partly  to  her 
apprehension  of  bodily  and  mental  torpor.  But  she 
found  the  vortex  into  which  she  was  drawn  as  a 
celebrated  traveller,  authoress,  and  missionary  advo- 
cate far  less  attractive  than  the  perilous  wilds  of 
Luristan  and  Kurdistan,  and  said  to  me  one  day 
that  summer,  "Oh  to  be  beyond  the  pale  once 
more,  out  of  civilisation  into  savagery !  Anna,  I 
abhor  civilisation ! " 

It  was  a  relief  to  get  away  from  town  on  August  11, 
and,  after  a  peaceful  week  at  Houghton,  to  go  to 
Cardiff  for  the  meeting  of  the  British  Association, 
under  Sir  William  Huggins's  presidency.  She  lectured 
on  Tuesday,  the  25th,  in  section  E — that  devoted  to 
geographical  matters— on  "  The  Upper  Karun  Region 
and  the  Bakhtiari  Lurs."  It  was  the  first  time  that 
she  had  addressed  members  of  the  British  Association, 
and  the  first  time  that  she  gave  this  remarkable 


lecture — asked  for  again  and  again  by  learned  societies 
in  England  and  Scotland.  It  was  listened  to  with 
breathless  interest,  for  few  Englishmen  had  taken 
the  route  through  Luristan,  and  of  these  none  had 
traversed  it  from  Julfa  to  Burujird  as  she  and  Major 
Sawyer  did,  nor  had  any  of  the  former  travellers  in 
Persia,  except  Sir  Henry  Layard  and  Sir  Henry 
Rawlinson,  brought  to  the  journey  such  skilled 
observation  and  such  power  of  literary  description 
as  Mrs.  Bishop  had  done.  Schooled  by  this  time  in 
public  speaking,  she  lectured  with  great  charm  of 
manner  and  voice ;  and,  added  to  her  real  and  amazing 
knowledge  of  every  subject  which  she  handled,  she 
had  the  art  of  presenting  what  she  knew  in  such 
language  as  to  secure  absorbed  listening.  Even  she, 
too  often  a  prey  to  self-distrust,  felt  that  her  address 
was  a  success,  and  modestly  recorded  the  fact  in  her 
diary  on  the  day  of  its  delivery. 

In  the  Report  of  the  British  Association's  meeting 
at  Cardiff  (August,  1891)  it  is  mentioned  that  on 
Tuesday,  the  2$th, 

There  were  several  papers  dealing  with  original 
exploration,  and  of  these  Mrs.  Bishop's  account  01  the 
Bakhtiari  country  was  by  far  the  most  important. 
Mrs.  Bishop  spoke  for  the  greater  part  of  an  hour 
merely  from  notes,  but  without  the  slightest  hesitation. 
Her  subject-matter  and  its  manner  of  treatment  were, 
in  her  hands,  a  model  of  excellence. 

She  returned  for  a  few  days  to  town,  where  she 
received  the  distressing  news  that  the  first  "John 
Bishop  Memorial  Hospital"  at  Srinagar  had  been 
entirely  wrecked  by  a  desolating  flood  in  July. 

When  she  left  London  she  had  completed  two-thirds 
of  her  work  on  Persia,  and  was  occupied  with 
choosing  and  arranging  its  illustrations.  She  was 

,891]  HARD  WORK  251 

still  spending  every  spare  hour  upon  the  manuscript, 
which  she  studiously  revised,  and  on  one  of  the  few 
days  left  to  her  in  town  she  took  it  to  Mr.  Murray. 

How  hard  she  was  working  all  September  is 
evidenced  by  her  letters  to  Mr.  Murray,  who  was 
greatly  interested  in  the  book.  One  written  on  Sep- 
tember 13,  from  Ford  Hall,  is  occupied  with  details 
concerning  the  map  of  the  Bakhtiari  country  and  her 
route,  which  was  prepared  for  the  end  of  the  second 
volume  with  considerable  difficulty,  partly  from  the 
survey-map  made  by  Major  Sawyer,  who  advised  her 
to  adopt  the  spelling  of  the  geographical  report— 
"every  surveying  officer,"  she  wrote,  "seems  to  spell 
the  names  differently," — and  partly  from  a  sketch-map 
made  by  herself. 

A  little  later  she  tells  Mr.  Murray  that  she  went 
down  to  Clark's  and  rescued  the  revises,  which  she 
altered  according  to  his  suggestions. 

They  are  truly  valuable,  and  make  me  much  ashamed 
of  my  want  of  perspicacity.  The  original  letters  were 
invariably  written  when  I  was  greatly  fatigued,  and 
my  re-writing  has  been  done  under  great  pressure. 

The  map  gave  her  great  trouble,  and  she  had  to 
consult  the  head  of  the  Indian  Government  Survey 
as  to  how  she  could  use  it,  add  names  to  it,  and 
improve  it  for  general  use.  As  a  result  of  this  cor- 
respondence she  was  only  allowed  to  use  it  as  it 
stood,  since  the  insertion  of  names  and  passes  was 
politically  indiscreet. 

On  October  22  she  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  (the 
present  John  Murray)  from  Tobermory  : 

The  proof  which  you  return  is  the  end  of  the  second 
volume.  Your  corrections  have  been  an  education  in 
grammar  and  style,  which  will  not  be  thrown  away. 


Just  a  week  earlier  she  had  finished  the  manuscript 
and  recorded  it  in  her  diary  with  a  "  Thank  God  ! " 
of  relief. 

On  the  i9th,  having  revised  and  corrected  most 
of  her  proofs,  she  went  to  Tobermory,  taking  Miss 
Cullen  (whose  father  had  recently  died)  with  her, 
having  undertaken  to  lecture  to  the  members  of  the 
Royal  Scottish  Geographical  Society  in  Edinburgh 
on  November  12,  and  at  Glasgow  on  the  i3th.  The 
expansion  of  her  address  prepared  for  the  British 
Association  on  the  "  Bakhtiari  Lurs "  into  a  less 
exclusively  scientific  form  occupied  her  till  Novem- 
ber 10.  Miss  Cullen  went  home  on  the  2nd,  and 
Mrs.  Bishop  followed  her  on  the  nth.  Her  lecture 
was  given  the  next  evening  in  the  Free  Assembly 
Hall,  where  the  anniversary  meeting  of  the  society 
was  held.  General  Sir  Robert  Murdoch  Smith,  who 
had  himself  been  twenty-four  years  resident  in  Persia, 
presided,  and  he  testified  to  the  accuracy  of  her 
descriptions  as  one  thoroughly  conversant  with  the 
country.  The  audience  was  "  enormous  and  sympa- 
thetic." Next  day  she  repeated  the  lecture  at  the 
inaugural  meeting  of  the  Glasgow  branch. 

The  R.S.G.S.  conferred  on  her  the  rare  distinction 
of  fellowship,  and  in  a  letter  to  Mr.  Murray  she 
wrote,  "  I  am  grateful  for  the  innovation  they  have 
made  in  recognising  a  woman's  work." 

By  this  time  her  forthcoming  Journeys  in  Persia 
and  Kurdistan  was  announced,  and  she  was  finishing 
its  preface,  glossary,  and  itineraries.  Mr.  Curzon, 
whose  book  was  also  in  the  press,  had  been  most 
kind  and  helpful,  giving  her  distances  and  names; 
but  her  proofs  were  delayed  for  items  of  exact  mileage 
between  the  stages  of  her  journey  through  Kurdistan. 
On  the  last  day  of  November  the  task  was  definitely 

I892]  THE  STORMY  PETREL  253 

completed,  but  by  this  time  nervous  collapse  and 
rheumatism  had  seized  her,  and  she  made  up  her 
mind  that  the  book  would  be  a  failure.  She  stayed 
on  in  Tobermory,  although  the  weather  was  at  its 
wintriest — "  wan  wastes  of  snow,  and  a  gale  which, 
with  few  and  brief  lulls,  is  continuous." 

Journeys  in  Persia  and  Kurdistan  was  published 
at  Christmas,  1891.  Just  at  the  time  a  tremendous 
storm  stopped  the  mails,  and  her  letter  of  thanks  for 
the  two  beautiful  volumes  sent  to  her  before  the 
day  of  publication  was  delayed  five  days. 

We  have  not  had  a  gleam  of  sunshine  for  seventeen 
days,  and  the  unsunned  and  sodden  snow  has  a  most 
depressing  and  ghastly  effect.  I  feel  the  damp  chilli- 
ness of  this  Mull  climate  very  much  after  two  years  in 
dry  regions,  and  shall  not  be  able  to  stay  here  so  long 
as  I  proposed. 

She  was  able,  however,  to  give  a  lecture  in  Tober- 
mory on  the  evening  of  December  23,  which  lasted 
almost  two  hours.  It  was  on  "  Persian  Manners 
and  Customs,"  and  was  illustrated  by  two  of  the 
Y.W.C.A.  members,  who  wore  costumes  which  she 
had  brought  from  Isfahan. 

For  three  weeks  of  January  she  was  busy  with 
all  the  interests  of  The  Cottage  and  her  neighbours. 
She  was  known  by  her  friends  as  the  "Stormy 
Petrel,"  from  her  preference  of  weather  in  its  worst 
moods  when  she  went  her  rounds.  Perhaps  the  howl 
and  wail  of  the  storm  round  The  Cottage  drove 
her  out. 

About  the  middle  of  January  half  of  the  inhabitants 
of  Tobermory  were  seized  with  influenza.  It  reached 
The  Cottage,  and  first  her  housekeeper  and  then 
Mrs.  Bishop  herself  succumbed.  She  was  in  bed 
for  three  weeks — as  pneumonia  followed  the  fever — 

254  PUBLIC   WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

admirably  nursed  by  Miss  Macdonald,  and  the  long 
weakness  incident  to  convalescence  delayed  her  de- 
parture. Fortunately,  lovely  weather  followed  in 
February,  but  she  was  saddened  by  many  deaths. 
A  very  interesting  letter  belongs  to  the  week  before 
she  fell  ill.  It  was  written  to  Lady  Middleton  on 
January  13,  1892  : 

Life  cannot  spare  you  :  its  claims,  duties,  and  in- 
terests multiply  as  the  years  go  by,  and  you  are  and 
can  be  a  power  for  good.  Heartlessness  and  malice 
have  done  their  worst  if  they  benumb  your  vitality 
and  make  you  a  cypher.  But  this  cannot  be,  and  you 
will  revive.  My  mind,  dwelling  so  much  in  solitude 
and  away  from  the  bustle  at  once  sordid  and  trivial 
which  passes  for  life,  is  very  full  of  thoughts,  some  of 
which,  if  I  were  speaking  and  not  writing,  I  should 
like  to  communicate  to  you.  One  very  present  and 
stimulating  thought  is  that  we  have  lived  into  a  new 
era,  and  that  whether  we  like  it  or  not  (and  I  don't  like 
it,  and  think  the  old  was  better),  if  we  are  to  be  of  any 
use,  we  must  cease  sighing  over  the  past  and  throw 
ourselves  as  heartily  as  may  be  into  those  currents  of 
the  new  life  and  age  which  are  surging  around  us.  I 
see  so  many  people  who  were  useful  under  the  old 
circumstances,  to  whom  the  uprising  of  the  democracy 
in  politics,  of  an  aristocracy  of  mere  wealth  in  society, 
and  of  criticisms  which  threaten  to  remove  the  old 
landmarks  in  religion  are  so  intensely  painful  and 
repulsive  that  they  retire  from  the  whirl  and  strife 
altogether,  and  sit  moaning  with  folded  hands  over  an 
order  of  things  which  can  never  be  resuscitated. 

For  myself,  my  sorrows  have  taken  away  all 
personal  interest  in  life — I  have  nothing  any  more  to 
nope  for,  nothing  to  dread  except  infirmities  of  mind 
and  body,  nothing  to  wish  for,  no  ambitions,  no  personal 
projects.  The  last  three  years  of  ceaseless  activities 
and  latterly  of  more  or  less  of  public  life  have  been 
very  strange  to  me.  Beloved  memories,  noble  examples, 
stimulating  words  of  those  whom  I  have  lost  are  always 
goading  me  onwards  and  upwards.  I  feel  that  I  must 
make  the  best  of  myself,  I  must  bear  an  active  part  in 
life,  I  must  follow  their  examples  to  be  worthy  of  ever 

1892]  JOURNEYS  IN  PERSIA  255 

meeting  them  again,  which  is  my  one  personal  hope. 
And  thus  with  a  ceaseless  ache  at  my  heart,  and  without 
a  shadow  of  enjoyment  in  anything,  I  respond  to  every 
call  to  action,  and  my  life  though  very  sad  is  very  full, 
and  though  I  cannot  enjoy  I  am  intensely  interested. 
For  this  I  thank  God. 

I  wonder  if  it  is  any  comfort  to  you  to  know 
that  from  my  heart,  and  for  reasons  which  at  the  time 
and  now  appear  to  be  conclusive,  I  believe  your 
brother  absolutely  guiltless  of  what  was  imputed  to 
him.  For  you  to  know  him  to  be  the  victim  of  an 
injustice  which  has  robbed  him  of  all  he  valued  most, 
and  which  afflicts  him  through  his  remaining  life,  must 
be  a  bitterness  to  which  the  mourning  for  vanished 
lives  is  not  comparable. 

My  book,  which  I  may  truly  call  my  work,  is  out, 
and,  though  I  thought  it  marked  a  manifest  falling 
off  in  descriptive  style,  the  reviews  so  far  have  been 
kind  to  it.  I  hope  it  will  sell,  as  I  want  money.  The 
Women's  Hospital  of  sixty  beds  with  a  Dispensary 
attached,  which  I  built  in  Kashmir  as  a  memorial  to 
my  husband,  was  totally  destroyed  by  a  flood  on 
July  21,  a  heavy  blow  to  me,  and  I  now  want  to  make 
money  to  rebuild  it  in  a  safer  place. 

On  March  5  she  left  Tobermory  for  Edinburgh  and 
stayed  first  with  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie. 

Sir  Robert  Murdoch  Smith  had  reviewed  her 
Journeys  in  Persia  and  Kurdistan  for  the  March  number 
of  The  Scottish  Geographical  Magazine,  and  his  judg- 
ment of  the  value  and  accuracy  of  her  statements 
gave  her  great  encouragement. 

Much  has  been  expected  [he  said]  from  her  facile  and 
graphic  pen,  and  we  may  at  once  say  that  those 
expectations  are  not  disappointed.  .  .  .  The  picture 
drawn  of  the  toilsome  struggles  of  the  laden  mules 
through  the  deep  snow  drifts,  and  of  the  sufferings 
of  man  and  beast  from  the  intense  cold  of  the  icy  blasts 
that  sweep  over  these  uplands,  however  exaggerated 
they  may  seem  to  those  "  who  stay  at  home  at  ease,"  are 
true  and  exact  as  photographs. 


He  gives  in  this  paper  a  most  interesting  aper$u 
of  the  change  effected  in  Persia  between  1863  and 
1885,  but  for  the  purpose  of  this  biography  his 
endorsement  of  her  fidelity  to  truth  is  its  important 

Her  stay  in  Edinburgh  had  another  object  besides 
the  pleasure  of  being  with  old  friends.  Miss  Cullen 
thought  of  taking  a  house  in  Morningside,  and  pro- 
posed that  Mrs.  Bishop  should  furnish  a  couple  of 
rooms  in  it,  so  as  to  have  a  pied-a-terre,  when  she 
came  to  Edinburgh. 

In  1892  [writes  Miss  Cullen]  she  greatly  longed  for 
a  home ;  I  asked  her  if  I  took  a  large  enough  house 
would  she  join  me.  She  was  delighted  with  the 
arrangement,  and  we  began  a  partnership  at  41 
Morningside  Park  at  the  end  of  that  year,  which 
continued  till  May,  1897.  It  was  rather  a  farce,  for  she 
did  not  live  in  the  house  more  than  eighteen  weeks. 
She  was  away  three  years,  but  her  two  rooms  were 
kept  for  her. 

This  arrangement  was  fixed  in  the  spring  of  1892, 
and  then  Mrs.  Bishop  left  for  Birdsall  House  on 
March  15.  She  had  prepared  Lady  Middleton  for 
a  considerable  change  in  her  appearance : 

I  have  become  a  very  elderly — indeed  I  may  say  an 
old — woman  and  stout !  My  hair  will  not  turn  grey,  and 
thus  I  am  deprived  of  the  softening  and  almost  re- 
novating influence  which  silver  hair  exercises  on 
a  plain  race.  I  still  wear  deep  mourning,  but  not  a  cap 
of  any  kind.  Mentally  I  think  and  hope  that  I  am 
more  sympathetic,  and  that  my  interests  outside  of 
myself  are  larger  and  wider,  but  probably  this  does  not 
appear,  as  my  manner  is  quieter  than  ever.  I  have 
written  this  much  to  prepare  you  for  a  "  little  soul  "  in 
a  big  body. 

The  visit  was  a  very  happy  one,  in  spite  of  her 
sorrowful  memory  of  the  last  long  stay  at  Birdsall, 


when  her  husband  was  with  her.  It  was  soothed 
by  the  love  and  consideration  which  she  received 
from  Lord  and  Lady  Middleton,  and  by  their  frequent 
appreciative  reference  to  Dr.  Bishop. 

She  had  to  "prate  at  a  drawing-room  meeting  at 
York  on  March  19,  when  the  Dean,  assisted  by  Lord 
Forester,  an  old  friend  of  my  father,  will  preside." 
It  was  most  successful — a  crowded  hall,  the  whole 
audience  "  cheery-looking  and  enthusiastic."  Hear 
subject  was  medical  missions,  and  the  immediate 
collection  was  £40,  followed  by  £56,  as  an  aftermath. 
Other  results  were  the  formation  of  a  local  association 
for  supporting  medical  missions,  and  a  request  that 
she  should  return  in  June  to  give  an  address  of  the 
same  character  at  the  Church  Congress  for  the 
dioceses  of  York,  Ripon,  and  Wakefield.  Two  more 
petitions  for  missionary  addresses  were  due  to  this 
York  meeting,  and  indeed  there  stretched  before  her 
a  long  vista  of  such  engagements.  She  wrote  to 
Miss  Macdonald  a  fortnight  later : 

I  hoped  to  have  rested  entirely  in  April,  but  have 
not  been  able  to  refuse  to  give  two  addresses — one  at 
Southampton  on  the  i3th  and  one  at  Portsmouth  on 
the  i  Qth.  I  used  often  to  think  when  I  was  abroad 
that  if  I  lived  to  return  I  might  possibly  interest  some 
people  in  missions  outside  the  usual  circles ;  but  never 
dreamed  that  so  great  and  public  a  work  would  grow 
out  of  it. 

Visits  to  Houghton  and  Southampton  followed. 

I  spent  three  days  at  Southampton  at  Canon  Wil- 
berforce's  [she  wrote],  a  singularly  curious  and  inter- 
esting time ;  but  far  too  exacting  and  tiring  for  me,  as 
I  am  still  very  weak. 

Then  she  went  to  Bournemouth  and   stayed  with 


258  PUBLIC    WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

Miss   Clayton   ail   April,    except    for    brief   absences 
connected  with  her  addresses. 

On  April  2  she  had  news  which  greatly  distressed 

You  will  be  sorry  to  hear  [she  wrote]  that  I  have 
lost  one  of  my  oldest  and  most  valued  friends,  Mr. 
Murray,  my  publisher,  to  whose  unwearied  kindness 
and  constant  consideration  for  nearly  forty  years  I 
owe  very  much.  I  feel  his  death  very  deeply. 

Tuesday,  April  19,  was  Professor  and  Mrs.  Blackie's 
golden  wedding  day,  and  Mrs.  Bishop's  letter  to  them 
is  characteristic  of  her  deep  affection  and  loyalty  to 
the  friends  of  so  many  years. 

As  my  little  gifts  [she  wrote  on  Easter  Day]  will  be 
overlooked  in  the  array  of  your  beautiful  presents,  so 
my  loving  words  may  hardly  be  heard  among  the  warm 
and  hearty  congratulations  which  will  be  yours  on 
Tuesday ;  but  I  know  that  my  loved  and  faithful  friend 
will  neither  be  blind  to  the  one  nor  deaf  to  the  other. 
May  God  bless  you  and  give  you  better  health,  that 
your  dear  self  may  shine  out  as  all  who  love  you 
desire.  May  you  have  great  peace,  and  may  the  calm, 
mellow  light  of  a  sunlit  evening  stream  on  your  path. 
May  you  have  yet  some  years  together,  and  in  the 
end,  though  death  must  divide,  may  death  unite.  All 
blessings  are  gathered  up  in  the  few  words :  "  The 
peace  of  God  which  passeth  understanding  keep  your 
heart  and  mind  in  the  love  of  God " — and  this  is 
my  wish  for  your  golden  wedding  day.  It  is  not  a 
time  of  prospect,  but  of  retrospect,  and  I  hope  that 
your  self-depreciatory  nature  will  not  prevent  you 
from  thankfully  looking  back  upon  the  long  years  of 
wifely  love  and  loyalty  and  unwearied  helpfulness, 
of  domestic  comfort,  calm,  ripe,  and  tasteful  criticism, 
of  intellectual  help  and  rare  womanly  influence  which 
you  have  given  to  the  Professor,  and  on  the  loyalty, 
love,  and  trust  which  he  has  given  you.  I  wish  I 
could  see  you  both  on  Tuesday  surrounded  by  friends 
and  offerings. 

i892j         LESSONS  IN   PHOTOGRAPHY          259 

On  May  4  she  left  Bournemouth  for  London,  where 
she  stayed  at  rooms  in  Adelaide  Road,  partly  furnished 
by  herself.  Missionary  and  geographical  addresses 
absorbed  her  time  and  attention. 

Many  pleasant  social  engagements  also  belonged 
to  May,  and  the  same  kind  of  various  activity 
signalised  June.  On  the  9th  she  was  in  York, 
fulfilling  her  engagement  at  the  conference  there. 

But  two  matters  belong  to  June  worth  recording. 
One  was  a  course  of  lessons  in  photography  which 
she  took  from  Mr.  Howard  Farmer  at  the  Regent 
Street  Polytechnic,  and  which  she  renewed  every 
time  she  was  in  London.  There  had  been  great 
difficulty  in  getting  illustrations  for  her  Journeys  in 
Persia  due  to  frequent  loss  of  her  sketches,  and  she 
did  not  in  any  case  account  these  of  artistic  value. 
Photography  was  not  only  a  new  and  very  real 
interest  for  her,  but  promised  to  be  helpful  in  future 
journeys  amongst  new  races  and  regions. 

The  second  matter  was  connected  with  her  health, 
which  had  given  her  cause  for  uneasiness  since  she  had 
influenza  in  February.  She  consulted  Dr.  Davies  in 
London  and  wrote  on  the  subject  to  Mrs.  Macdonald  : 

My  health  failed  in  the  summer  and  it  was  with  the 
greatest  difficulty  that  I  kept  my  engagements.  At 
last  some  symptoms  that  I  knew  were  serious  came 
on  and  I  had  good  medical  advice.  I  was  then  told 
that  I  have  fatty  and  calcareous  degeneration  of  the 

The  malady  was  not  surprising  after  the  tremendous 
and  continuous  strain  of  1889  and  1890.  But  its 
discovery  suggests  a  question  often  put  as  to  her 
physical  feebleness  at  home  and  her  extraordinary 
strength  and  endurance  while  travelling.  This 
question  can  best  be  answered  by  quoting  from 

260  PUBLIC   WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

an  article  which  appeared  in  The  Edinburgh  Medical 
Journal  after  her  death  in  1904,  and  which  was 
written  by  one  of  the  most  skilful  physicians  in 
Edinburgh  : 

To  the  lay  mind  (i.e.  the  mind  untrained  in 
physiological  science)  Mrs.  Bishop  was  indeed,  if 
not  a  mass  of  physical  contradictions,  yet  very  much 
of  a  paradox.  It  was  difficult  for  it  to  comprehend 
how  a  woman  who  in  the  quiet  of  her  home  life 
seemed  so  fragile,  sensitive,  and  dependent  could 
possibly  submit  to,  or  even,  survive,  the  experiences 
of  her  multitudinous  travels.  The  invalid  at  home 
and  the  Samson  abroad  do  not  form  a  very  usual 
combination,  yet  in  her  case  these  two  ran  in  tandem 
for  many  years.  Mrs.  Bishop  was  indeed  one  of  those 
subjects  who  are  dependent  to  the  last  degree  upon 
their  environment  to  bring  out  their  possibilities. 
It  is  not  a  question  of  dual  personality,  it  is  the  varied 
response  of  a  single  personality  under  varied  condi- 
tions. Of  course  the  response  can  only  be  maintained 
in  an  active  environment,  when  there  is  a  large  store- 
house of  energy  behind  it  all,  for  no  woman  can 
travel  some  2,400  miles  through  a  wild  and  untamed 
country  without  having  a  basis  of  strength  of  an 
unusual  kind.  .  .  .  When  she  took  the  stage  as 
pioneer  and  traveller,  she  laughed  at  fatigue,  she 
was  indifferent  to  the  terrors  of  danger,  she  was 
careless  of  what  a  day  might  bring  forth  in  the 
matter  of  food  :  but  stepping  from  the  boards  into 
the  wings  of  life,  she  immediately  became  the  invalid, 
the  timorous,  delicate,  gentle-voiced  woman  that  we 
associate  with  the  Mrs.  Bishop  of  Edinburgh. 

In  this  there  is  true  insight,  but  one  or  two  facts 
may  render  the  complex  nature  less  puzzling  to  the 
ordinary  mind.  Physicians  have  learned  to  use  a 
magnanimity  which  might  teach  us  "a  more  excellent 
way "  if  we  could  follow  their  example.  There  was 
a  great  reserve  of  endurance  in  Mrs.  Bishop,  and  this 
was  due  to  her  splendid  digestion.  In  spite  of  the 
serious  ailments  which  exhausted  her  constitution, 



her  appetite  and  her  power  to  assimilate  large  quan- 
tities of  food  healthily  never  failed.  Her  husband 
would  rally  her  on  this,  and  once  said  laughingly 
to  me,  "  Isabella  has  the  appetite  of  a  tiger  and 
the  digestion  of  an  ostrich."  She  could  go  for  days 
with  little  more  than  a  bowlful  of  rice  and  a  handful  of 
dates  or  raisins ;  but  when  substantial  food  was  to 
be  had,  she  availed  herself  amply  of  the  opportunity. 
Indeed,  she  called  herself  "a  savage  in  the  matter 
of  food."  Nor  does  it  ever  seem  that  she  suffered 
from  either  scanty  or  generous  fare.  She  would 
complain  in  jest  that  her  hosts  pressed  her  to  eat 
cake  because  it  was  simple  and  could  not  hurt 
her,  when  what  she  wanted  was  the  richest  and 
heaviest  on  the  table.  This  healthy  appetite  must 
have  strengthened  her  muscular  frame,  which  made 
up  for  her  feeble  spine. 

Besides,  she  really  suffered  overwhelming  fatigue 
and  frequently  broke  down  during  her  journeys — but 
she  had  learned  exactly  what  to  do  and  was  seldom 
hindered  in  doing  it.  Her  muscular  strength  and 
her  immense  spirit  combined  against  all  obstacles, 
when  the  undertaking  interested  and  inspired  her. 
In  her  childhood  all  the  doctors  consulted  by  her 
parents  had  advised  open-air  life,  riding,  change  of 
scene,  so  these  must  have  been  obviously  remedial, 
long  before  they  developed  in  her  the  passion  for 
travelling  which  made  her  famous. 

At  home  there  was  neither  the  vivifying  mountain 
air  which  invigorated  her,  nor  was  there  daily  novelty 
to  seize  and  hold  her  mind.  Although  she  liked  many 
people,  too  many  others  sought  and  bored  her ;  she 
was  generally  occupied  with  hard  intellectual  work, 
which  needed  seclusion  and  a  sedentary  life;  the 
minor  worries  of  housekeeping  assailed  and  depressed 


her,  while  danger  and  difficulty  appealed  to  her 
marvellous  self-control  and  resource ;  and  physical 
inaction  was  apt  to  become  a  habit  when  life  grew 
unexciting  and  duty  ceased  to  exact  effort  and  self- 

She  saw  Dr.  Davies  several  times,  and  he  enjoined 
immediate  rest  and  the  withdrawal  from  as  many  as 
possible  of  her  public  engagements  for  July.  Nowhere 
could  the  former  be  so  well  assured  as  at  Houghton, 
so  she  left  town  on  June  22  and  spent  three  peaceful 
weeks  with  Mrs.  Brown  at  The  Elms,  where  one 
quiet  day  succeeded  another,  many  hours  were  spent 
on  the  river,  old  friends  were  visited,  old  associations 
renewed.  After  a  fortnight  she  felt  so  much  better 
that  she  began  to  write  up  her  notes  of  Western 
Tibet  and  to  bring  them  into  literary  form.  After 
another  week  of  rest,  she  went  to  Willing  Park  near 
Bridgnorth,  where  she  addressed  a  meeting  for  sixty- 
five  minutes,  and  on  the  following  day  spoke  for  an 
hour  and  a  quarter  at  a  meeting  held  at  Coalbrook- 

The  British  Association  meetings  were  held  at 
Edinburgh  in  1892,  early  in  August,  and  she  went 
north  on  the  ist  to  attend  them.  They  were  inaugu- 
rated by  Sir  Archibald  Geikie,  President  for  the 
year,  and  Mrs.  Bishop,  who  dined  that  evening  with 
Sir  William  Muir,  was  present.  Next  evening  she 
read  her  paper  on  ''Western  Tibet,"  and  it  was 
incorporated  in  the  Scottish  Geographical  Society's 
Magazine  for  October.  She  was  now  one  of  the  most 
distinguished  members  of  the  British  Association. 
More  than  a  hundred  admiring  reviews  of  her 
volumes  on  Persia  had  appeared,  one  of  them  by 
Mr.  Curzon,  at  whose  private  suggestion  she  made 
some  small  corrections  before  sending  them  to 


the  press  for  a  second  edition.  Mr.  Murray  (the 
fourth  John  Murray)  sent  her  the  munificent  share 
of  its  profits  on  which  were  based  her  financial 
relations  with  both  his  father  and  himself,  after  the 
reissue  of  Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan. 

I  share  your  feeling  of  sadness  [she  wrote] 
regarding  the  literary  account  for  so  many  years 
addressed  to  me  in  your  dear  father's  hand.  But 
even  he  could  not  express  himself  more  kindly  and 
gracefully  than  you  have  done  in  the  note  received 
this  morning.  Persia  is  not  an  attractive  country  to 
write  about  and  I  fully  expected  failure,  therefore 
this  success  is  especially  gratifying,  and  is  a  con- 
tinuation of  the  good  fortune  which  has  attended 
me  since  I  began  my  literary  career  under  your 
father's  auspices. 

She  had  a  particular  reason  for  welcoming  a  large 
cheque,  already  alluded  to.  A  considerable  portion 
of  her  profits  from  the  sale  of  Journeys  in  Persia  and 
Kurdistan  was  consecrated  to  rebuilding  the  "  John 
Bishop  Memorial  Hospital."  The  expense  of  re- 
building was  great,  and  the  work  could  not  be  on 
the  same  scale  as  that  wrecked  by  the  floods  of 
July,  1890;  but  the  existing  hospital  at  Islamabad, 
erected  in  due  course,  contains  12  beds  for  women, 
with  the  possibility  of  expansion  in  dry  seasons. 

Mrs.  Bishop  saw  Dr.  Ritchie  in  Edinburgh,  and  he 
confirmed  Dr.  Davies'  opinion  about  her  health. 
He  consulted  with  Dr.  Grainger  Stewart ;  both  noted 
heart-failure  and  rheumatic  gout,  and  were  most 
anxious  that  she  should  go  to  Carlsbad  to  drink 
the  waters  there  and  be  treated  by  a  celebrated 
German  specialist,  and  she  planned  to  leave 
about  August  20  for  that  purpose.  An  outbreak 
of  cholera  and  exceptional  heat  abroad,  however, 
decided  Dr.  Grainger  Stewart  to  forbid  this  step, 

264  PUBLIC   WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

and  she  spent  the  rest  of  August  with  Miss  Clayton 
at  Kingussie,  where  drives  in  a  pony  chair  and  much 
walking  helped  her  a  little.  But  as  baths  and 
massage  were  prescribed,  she  went  to  Buxton  in 
September  for  both. 

The  Cottage  had  been  lent  all  summer  to  Mrs. 
Brown's  brother,  Mr.  Dixon.  On  October  3  Mrs. 
Bishop  went  to  Tobermory  and  stayed  there  for  nearly 
four  months.  These  were  filled  with  her  usual 
activities,  to  which  was  added  the  organising  of  cookery 
classes,  accomplished  in  the  face  of  almost  absolute 
local  indifference.  They  were  in  connection  with  the 
Technical  Education  movement,  and  she  wrote  to 
Mrs.  Blackie  about  her  difficulties: 

I  am  much  overdone  by  nothing  less  than  under- 
taking the  sole  organising  of  cookery  classes,  and 
providing  all  the  essentials.  It  has  been  awful  work, 
because  the  people  are  so  dilatory  and  shilly-shally, 
but  they  were  opened  last  night  successfully. 

She  got  leave  to  utilise  the  old  schoolhouse  next 
to  her  cottage  for  these  classes,  and  invited  the  School 
Board,  the  ministers,  and  chief  townspeople,  on  the 
evening  of  December  6,  to  witness  the  first  illustrated 

Another  interest  was  reading  her  notes  on  Tibet 
aloud  to  her  valued  neighbour,  Mrs.  MacLachlan, 
of  Badarroch,  whose  feeble  eyesight  made  reading 
impossible.  Mrs.  MacLachlan  always  expected  her 
when  the  wind  blew  and  the  rain  fell,  and  looked 
forward  to  her  coming. 

Her  health  improved  at  Tobermory;  the  winter 
was  fine  on  the  whole,  and  she  took  rides  and  walks 
over  the  moor.  Her  doctors  had  urged  these,  but 
the  rides  were  bereft  of  their  charm,  for  she  had  to 
use  a  side-saddle,  to  which  she  had  so  long  been 

i893]  PRACTICAL  TALKS  265 

unaccustomed,  and  after  her  Oriental  experiences  she 
considered  it  dangerous.  The  long  walks  facing  the 
wind  on  the  uplands  were  quite  to  her  mind,  as  was 
the  absence  of  distraction.  For  the  time,  too,  she 
surrendered  her  habit  of  late  study  and  writing. 

That  winter  she  gave  a  series  of  practical  "  Talks  " 
to  the  members  of  the  Y. W.C. A.  The  subjects  were : 
"Honour  all  Men,"  "Tit  for  Tat,"  "Clothing"  (in 
humility),  "  I'll  do  it  TcAnorrow,"  "  Gossip,"  "  How 
to  make  Home  Happy."  They  were  reminders  of 
duty,  enlivened  by  story  and  illustration  from  Mrs. 
Bishop's  extended  travels  ;  and  notes  of  them  survive, 
from  which  the  writer  is  tempted  to  quote,  but  which 
she  feels  bound  to  lay  aside.  They  were  touched 
with  tenderness  and  instinct,  with  a  sense  of  the 
hopelessness  of  venturing  upon  the  duties  of  life 
unless  aided  by  the  Spirit  of  life,  who  wars  against 
the  tedium,  the  carelessness,  the  waste,  the  indiffer- 
ence of  everyday  life,  and  transmutes  it  into  helpful 
ministry,  joy,  beauty,  and  order. 

Early  in  December  Mr.  Murray  proposed  her  as  a 
fellow  of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society,  and  at 
first 1  a  cordial  welcome  was  extended  by  the  fellows 
present — a  distinction  which  she  valued  chiefly  because 
of  its  recognition  of  a  woman's  work. 

Then  late  in  January,  1893,  she  left  Mull,  went 
south  to  Stranraer,  and  lectured  there  on  the  27th. 
Her  first  ten  days  in  41  Morningside  Park  were 
spent  in  bed.  She  wrote  to  Mrs.  Macdonald  in 
February : 

1  In  accordance,  as  was  supposed,  with  the  terms  of  the  Charter, 
a  few  distinguished  lady  travellers  were  elected  as  fellows  of  the 
R.G.S.,  but  a  somewhat  bitter  opposition  was  aroused,  and  at  a 
special  meeting  called  to  discuss  the  election  and  the  whole  question 
it  was  decided  to  elect  no  more  lady  fellows.  This,  however,  did 
not  cancel  the  elections  already  made. 

266  PUBLIC   WORK  [CHAP,  xi 

I  am  improving  now,  but  am  very  weak,  and  have 
not  felt  able  to  write  any  but  business  letters.  The 
lecture,  in  spite  of  my  severe  pain,  went  off  very  well, 
and  the  audience  was  very  large.  My  rooms  here  are 
lovely,  and  most  comfortable.  My  pictures  are  all 
hung  as  I  directed.  The  precious  portraits  and  four 
sketches  of  Tobermory  face  me  as  I  write,  and  all  my 
surroundings  are  as  they  were  in  Walker  Street. 
His  study  table,  just  as  he  had  it,  is  at  my  side.  At 
present  these  things  seem  a  fearful  mockery  of  my 
loneliness,  but  perhaps  they  will  prove  soothing  after 
a  while.  There  are  some  sweet  old  lines  very  dear 
to  me : 

I  thank  Thee  for  the  quiet  rest 

Thy  servant  taketh  now, 
And  for  the  good  fight  foughten  well, 

And  for  his  crowned  brow  ! 

You,  too,  give  thanks  for  these  and  you  can  feel 
that  He  who  gave  has  taken  away.  I  have  my 
small  cares  and  losses  and  worry  about  them,  and 
you  were  a  lesson  to  me  with  your  sad,  calm,  sweet 
face,  and  the  steadfastness  with  which  you  were 
starting  on  a  path  of  pain  and  sacrifice,  because 
you  believed  it  was  the  right  path.  ...  I  know  of 
no  friend  to  whom  I  can  speak  of  my  inmost 
feelings  as  I  can  to  you,  or  about  my  beloved 
dead ;  no  one  whose  sympathy  is  so  always 

Mrs.  Bishop  stayed  in  Edinburgh  for  nearly  three 
months.  Her  papers  entitled  "Among  the  Tibetans  " 
appeared  in  The  Leisure  Hour  for  February  and  March, 
and  she  was  engaged  with  addresses  and  lectures 
till  she  left  for  the  south,  the  most  important  of 
them  being  an  address  on  the  need  of  Christian 
missions  given  in  the  Synod  Hall  on  Easter  Sunday, 
April  2.  She  was  taking  lessons  in  photography  as 
well  and  was  learning  to  print  her  own  films. 

She  went  south  on  April  19,  halting  at  Knares- 
boro'  and  Houghton,  and  reached  London  by  May  i, 
going  straight  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Mathieson.  She 

i893]       THE  QUEEN'S   DRAWING-ROOM       267 

was  at  once  plunged  into  the  vortex  of  May  meetings, 
and  took  her  full  share  on  their  platforms.  On 
May  9  she  was  presented  to  Queen  Victoria  at  Her 
Majesty's  Drawing  Room,  and  it  may  have  been  on 
this  occasion  that,  as  the  famous  lady  traveller  kissed 
her  hand,  the  Queen  said,  "  I  am  very  much  pleased 
to  see  you  here,  Mrs.  Bishop." 

Mrs.  Bishop  wrote  on  April  30  in  reference  to  the 
vote  of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society  : 

I  am  much  astonished  at  the  retrograde  movement 
of  the  R.G.S.  Still  I  think  it  is  better  to  exclude 
women  altogether  than,  while  admitting  us,  to  create 
invidious  distinctions  in  the  membership.  I  suppose 
that  the  matter  will  not  be  allowed  to  rest  here.  I 
don't  think  that  a  fellowship  which  is  chiefly  a  matter 
of  £  s.  d.,  and  is  not  a  recognition  of  work  done,  is 
worth  much  at  any  rate. 

And  on  May  27  she  continued,  in  reference  to  a 
circular  received  on  the  subject : 

I  don't  care  to  take  any  steps  in  the  matter,  as  I 
never  took  any  regarding  admission.  Fellowship,  as 
it  stands  at  present,  is  not  a  distinction  and  not  a 
recognition  of  work,  and  really  is  not  worth  taking 
any  trouble  about.  At  the  same  time  the  proposed 
action  is  a  dastardly  injustice  to  women. 

When  she  returned  to  town  on  June  i  it  was  to 
Lambeth  Palace,  where  she  spent  three  days,  speaking 
at  a  church  meeting  on  the  2nd  and  enjoying  her 
brief  converse  with  the  Archbishop  and  his  guests. 
From  Eastbourne,  on  June  6,  she  wrote  her  last 
word  on  the  R.G.S.'s  action  : 

I  am  going  to  meet  Mr.  Curzon  at  the  R.G.S.  on 
Tuesday  or  Wednesday  regarding  a  subject  on 
which  he  can  give  me  some  helpful  information.  I 
am  amazed  to  see  that  in  a  letter  to  Saturday's  Times 


my  declining  to  read  a  paper  for  the  R.G.S.  has  been 
referred  to  in  an  inaccurate  way,  which  makes  me 
ridiculous.  My  health  was  breaking  down  at  the 
time,  and  I  could  not  prepare  a  paper,  and  I  added 
in  declining  in  a  friendly  note  these  words  as  nearly 
as  possible  :  "  It  seems  scarcely  consistent  in  a  society 
which  does  not  recognise  the  work  of  women  to 
ask  a  woman  to  read  a  paper."  I  never  made  any 
claim  to  be  a  "  geographer,'  and  I  hope  that  none  of 
my  friends  have  ever  made  it  for  me.  As  a  traveller 
and  observer  I  have  done  a  good  deal  of  hard  and 
honest  work,  and  may  yet  do  more !  but  I  never  put 
forward  my  claim  to  have  even  that  recognised  by  the 
R.G.S.  If  I  had  thought  that  any  use  would  be  made 
of  my  note  I  should  not  even  have  written  the  above. 
I  think  it  might  be  well  if  ladies  were  ejected,  as  it 
would  tend  to  a  reconsideration  of  the  qualifications 
for  fellowship,  and  possibly  to  a  move  in  the  direction 
of  having  membership  as  a  matter  of  election  and  sub- 
scription, and.  fellowship  as  a  distinction. 

Her  whole  time  in  England  during  this  summer 
was  very  restlessly  spent.  She  wrote  to  Mrs.  Allan 
on  June  30 : 

Three  among  my  visits  have  been  specially  delight- 
ful— one  to  Mrs.  Brown,  another  to  Lambeth  Palace, 
and  another  to  my  cousin,  Bishop  Sumner.  The 
Drawing  Room  was  brilliant,  but  it  was  very  long, 
and  I  was  much  bored.  I  have  been  at  Leeds  at  the 
request  of  the  Archbishop  to  give  an  address  on  the 
Syrian  Christians,  and  am  now  taking  a  few  days'  rest 
with  some  dear  friends  in  a  lovely  Yorkshire  home. 
I  return  to  London  to  receive  my  fellowship  from  the 
R.G.S.  and  for  the  Prince  of  Wales's  garden  party  on 
the  5th. 

On  the  evening  on  which  her  fellowship  was  finally 
conferred  Lord  Dunmore  read  a  paper  on  "Journey- 
ings  in  the  Pamirs  and  Central  Asia,"  and  Mrs.  Bishop 
opened  the  discussion  afterwards.  The  Keswick 
meetings  drew  her  northwards  about  the  middle  of 
July,  and  by  August  she  was  in  Tobermory,  where 

,893]  NEW   PLANS  OF  TRAVEL  269 

she  prepared  a  series  of  important  addresses  to  which 
she  had  pledged  herself.  She  was  reading  busily  as 
well,  and  the  books  mentioned  in  her  diary  indicate 
the  trend  of  her  plans.  She  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  on 
August  23  : 

I  think  of  remaining  here  till  the  second  week  of 
October.  I  should  have  liked  of  all  things  to  go  to 
the  Church  Congress  at  Birmingham,  where  my  father 
had  one  of  the  huge  parishes  for  nearly  five  years,  but 
think  that  two  months  of  quiet  are  necessary.  I  am 
thinking  of  going  to  pay  a  few  visits  in  Japan  next 
winter,  and  may  possibly  go  on  to  Korea ;  but  I  am 
too  old  for  hardships  and  great  exertions  now. 



THE  last  months  of  1893  were  so  full  of  work  and 
movement  that  it  is  difficult  to  realise  that  Dr.  Grainger 
Stewart  not  only  confirmed  the  inefficient  action  of 
the  heart,  but  pronounced  Mrs.  Bishop  to  be  suffering 
from  an  affection  of  the  base  of  one  lung,  which 
retarded  her  pulse  and  enfeebled  her  breathing.  In 
spite  of  this  addition  to  her  physical  disabilities,  she 
spent  October  and  November  in  an  incessant  sequence 
of  lectures  and  addresses,  nearly  all  on  missions,  and 
two  of  them  to  Edinburgh  students. 

The  impression  produced  by  one  of  these  appearances 
was  so  profound  that  it  made  her  famous  as  a  platform 
speaker.  So  far  she  had  not  been  widely  known  as 
a  speaker  on  behalf  of  missions,  but  now,  says  Mr. 
Eugene  Stock,  she  stepped  at  once  to  the  front  rank 
as  a  missionary  advocate,  and  this  speech  may  rank 
as  perhaps  her  greatest  contribution  to  the  cause  of 
Christ  for  the  heathen.  It  was  an  address  given 
(Nov.  i)  in  Exeter  Hall  at  the  "Gleaners'  Union" 
anniversary  meeting,  which  was  presided  over  by 
Bishop  Hill,  just  before  he  returned  to  his  diocese  in 
Western  Equatorial  Africa,  where  a  few  months  later 
he  gave  up  his  consecrated  life.  In  the  history  of  the 
Church  Missionary  Society  this  address  is  mentioned  as 
"  proclaiming  Mrs.  Bishop  to  be  one  of  the  greatest  of 
missionary  advocates."  It  was  printed  and  circulated 



From   a  photograph   by   Lyd  Sawyer, 

1893]  HEATHEN   CLAIMS  271 

by  thousands  all  over  the  world,  and  "exercised  an 
influence  upon  the  public  mind  beyond  that  of  any 
other  missionary  address  of  the  generation."  Mrs. 
Bishop  called  her  address  "  Heathen  Claims  and 
Christian  Duty,"  and  prefaced  it  most  effectively  by 
describing  her  attitude  as  that  of — 

A  traveller  who  has  been  made  a  convert  to  missions, 
not  by  missionary  successes,  but  by  seeing  in  four  and 
a  half  years  of  Asiatic  travelling  the  desperate  needs 
of  the  un-Christianised  world.  There  was  a  time  when 
I  was  altogether  indifferent  to  missions,  and  would 
have  avoided  a  mission-station  rather  than  have  visited 
it.  But  the  awful,  pressing  claim  of  the  un-Christian- 
ised nations  which  I  have  seen  has  taught  me  that  the 
work  of  their  conversion  to  Christ  is  one  to  which  one 
would  gladly  give  influence  and  whatever  else  God  has 
given  to  one. 

She  called  upon  her  hearers  not  to  rest  upon  the 
little  already  effected  by  a  few  heroes,  but— 

To  set  their  faces  towards  the  wilderness,  that  great, 
waste,  howling  wilderness,  in  which  one  thousand 
millions  of  our  race  are  wandering  in  darkness  and 
the  shadow  of  death,  without  hope,  being  without  God 
in  the  world.  The  work  is  only  beginning :  we  have 
barely  touched  the  fringe  of  it. 

And  then  she  gave  a  glimpse  of  the  awful  sins  which 
canker  the  whole  Eastern  world  : 

When  travelling  in  Asia  it  struck  me  very  much  how 
very  little  we  had  heard,  how  little  we  know,  as  to 
how  sin  is  enthroned,  and  deified,  and  worshipped. 
There  is  sin  and  shame  everywhere.  Mohammedanism 
is  corrupt  to  the  very  core.  The  morals  of  Moham- 
medan countries  are  corrupt,  and  the  imagination 
very  wicked.  How  corrupt  is  Buddhism,  how  corrupt 
Buddhists  are !  .  .  .  These  false  faiths  degrade  women 
with  an  infinite  degradation.  The  intellect  is  dwarfed, 
while  all  the  worst  passions  of  human  nature  are 
stimulated  and  developed  in  a  fearful  degree;  jealousy, 
envy,  murderous  hate,  intrigue  running  to  such  an 

272  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

extent  that,  in  some  countries,  I  have  hardly  ever 
been  in  a  woman's  house,  or  near  a  woman's  tent, 
without  being  asked  for  drugs  with  which  to  disfigure 
the  favourite  wife,  to  take  away  her  life,  or  to  take 
away  the  life  of  the  favourite  wife's  infant  son.  This 
request  has  been  made  to  me  nearly  two  hundred 
times.  ...  It  follows  necessarily  that  there  is  also  an 
infinite  degradation  of  men.  The  whole  continent  of 
Asia  is  corrupt.  It  is  the  scene  of  barbarities,  tortures, 
brutal  punishments,  oppression,  official  corruption, 
which  is  worst  under  Mohammedan  rule  ;  of  all  things 
which  are  the  natural  products  of  systems  without 
God  in  Christ.  There  are  no  sanctities  of  home ; 
nothing  to  tell  of  righteousness,  temperance,  of  judg- 
ment to  come ;  only  a  fearful  looking  for  in  the  future 
of  fiery  indignation  from  some  quarter  they  know  not 

She  spoke  then  of  what  sickness  is  to  them  : 

If  one  speaks  of  the  sins,  one  is  bound  to  speak  of 
the  sorrows  too.  The  sorrows  of  heathenism  impressed 
me,  sorrows  which  humanitarianism  as  well  as 
Christianity  should  lead  us  to  roll  away.  .  .  .  What 
does  sickness  mean  to  millions  of  our  fellow  creatures 
in  heathen  lands  ?  Throughout  the  East  sickness  is 
believed  to  be  the  work  of  demons.  The  sick  person 
at  once  becomes  an  object  of  loathing  and  terror,  is 

Eut  out  of  the  house,  is  taken  to  an  outhouse,  is  poorly 
id,  and  rarely  visited,  or  the  astrologers,  or  priests,  or 
medicine  men,  or  wizards  assemble,  beating  big  drums 
and  gongs,  blowing  horns,  and  making  the  most  fearful 
noises.  They  light  gigantic  fires,  and  dance  round 
them  with  their  unholy  incantations.  They  beat  the 
sick  person  with  clubs  to  drive  out  the  demon.  They 
lay  him  before  a  roasting  fire  till  his  skin  is  blistered, 
and  then  throw  him  into  cold  water.  They  stuff  the 
nostrils  of  the  dying  with  aromatic  mixtures,  or  mud, 
and  in  some  regions  they  carry  the  chronic  sufferer  to  a 
mountain-top,  placing  barley-balls  and  water  beside 
him>  and  leave  him  to  die  alone.  If  there  were  time 
I  could  tell  you  things  that  would  make  it  scarcely 
possible  for  any  one  beginning  life  without  a  fixed 
purpose  to  avoid  going  into  training  as  a  medical 

,893]  LUXURY  AT  HOME  273 

And  then  she  wound  up  with  an  appeal  to  "  Go, 
Let  go,  Help  go,"  that  cannot  easily  be  forgotten — 
to  give  up  what  she  called  "  the  unnecessaries  of  life," 
to  readjust,  by  our  increased  knowledge,  our  personal 
needs  and  Christ's  needs  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross. 

For  we  hear  His  voice  ringing  down  through  ages  of 
selfishness  and  luxury  and  neglected  duty,  solemnly 
declaring  that  the  measure  of  our  love  for  our  brethren 
must  be  nothing  less  than  the  measure  of  His  own. 

She  had  noticed,  on  her  return  from  the  East  at  the 
end  of  1890,  a  great  increase  in  the  private  luxury  of 
English  families — even  those  sincerely  religious — in 
the  multiplication  of  costly  personal  accessories,  in  food, 
clothing,  amusements;  a  new  luxury  beginning  in 
the  nursery,  invading  the  school,  enervating  the 
young,  so  that  it  was  more  and  more  difficult  to  win, 
from  the  ranks  of  those  who  lived  at  ease,  followers 
of  a  Master  who  consecrated  the  missionaries  He  sent 
out  to  poverty,  danger,  and  toil.  In  alluding  to  this 
subject  she  said : 

May  it  not  be  that  we  are  called  to  more  self- 
sacrifice  and  self-denial  than  we  have  used  or  are 
trying  to  use  ?  Can  we  hear  of  souls  perishing,  as 
they  are  perishing,  and  yet  continue  to  use  the  silver 
and  gold  which  we  constantly  say  are  the  Lord's  for 
other  purposes— and  not  His?  I  know  that  reasons 
are  given  for  not  giving  up  luxuries,  and  I  should  not 
venture  to  condemn  them  in  any  way.  ...  I  would 
only  say,  regarding  the  oft-repeated  argument,  that  if 
people  gave  up  these  superfluities  "  it  would  be  so  bad 
for  trade,"  that  there  is  one  word  of  the  Master  which 
very  often  occurs  to  me,  "  What  is  that  to  thee  ? 
Follow  thou  Me."  It  may  be  that  the  way  of  the 
Cross  is  harder  than  of  old,  and  that  the  steep  of 
Calvary— which  we  all  must  climb  if  we  are  to  suffer 
with  Christ  and  to  be  glorified  with  Him— is  more 
rugged  than  of  old.  I  know  not.  But  always  in  front 
passes  the  Master,  and  every  step  of  the  road  of  self- 


274  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

denial  is  wet  with  His  blood.  And  with  that  example 
before  us,  and  His  promise  to  help  us,  surely  we  may 
deny  ourselves  the  little  luxuries  and  many  of  the 
little  pleasures  of  this  earthly  life — for  the  sake  of 
those  for  whom,  as  for  us,  He  died,  and  who  are  still 
living  in  ignorance  of  Him.  I  would  say  no  more  on 
this  subject,  because  the  measure  of  our  giving  and 
the  measure  of  our  self-denial  are  questions  which  each 
one  must  decide  for  himself  or  herself.  But  I  would 
venture  to  say  that  each  one  of  us  must  seek  to  decide 
them  in  the  light  of  the  Cross  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
and  as  if  His  eye  were  upon  us  in  the  decision. 

After  her  Exeter  Hall  address  Mrs.  Bishop  returned 
to  Edinburgh,  halting  to  give  two  addresses  to  railway- 
men  at  York,  where  her  cousin,  Miss  Lucy  Bird,  had 
a  Bible-class  amongst  the  employes  at  the  railway- 
carriage  works.  By  November  9  she  had  returned 
to  Morningside  Park  to  take  up  a  long  series  of  similar 
engagements.  All  this  time  she  was  quietly  making 
preparations  for  a  prolonged  tour.  Dr.  Grainger 
Stewart  did  not  forbid  her  travelling;  he  rather  advised 
it,  although  he  deprecated  quite  so  violent  and  sus- 
tained an  effort  as  her  famous  ride  in  Persia.  She 
was  herself  yielding  to  the  attraction  of  the  "  Far 
East,"  and  shaped  her  plans  for  China  and  Japan, 
with  Korea  expressly  in  view  should  circumstances 
prove  favourable. 

Two  days  before  leaving  Edinburgh  she  was 
vaccinated,  and  then  left  for  final  preparations  in 
London,  where  on  December  18  she  spent  the  evening 
with  me  in  my  chambers  in  York  Street.  Dr.  Horton 
arrived  about  nine  o'clock  to  see  her.  They  had 
frequently  met,  and  had  advanced  in  mutual  under- 
standing and  appreciation.  For  two  hours  their  con- 
verse sped  in  that  little  upper  room,  winged  with 
divine  love  for  wandering  souls.  At  last  Dr.  Horton, 
who  was  chairman  of  the  L.M.S.  that  year,  offered 

i894]  START  FOR   KOREA  275 

to  give  her  a  circular  introduction  to  all  its  mis- 
sionaries working  in  China,  and  wrote  out,  then 
and  there,  a  brief  document  which  proved  to  be  of 
constant  use  to  her  in  her  travels,  making  her 
doubly  welcome  at  many  a  mission-house  and 
medical  mission-station.  Then,  as  she  folded  up  the 
sheet  of  note-paper  and  put  it  into  the  bag  that  hung 
from  her  belt,  he  asked  us  to  kneel,  and  prayed  for  her, 
whether  on  sea  or  land,  in  peace  or  danger,  that  she 
might  go  as  God's  ambassador  to  the  East  and  return 
having  glorified  His  name.  This  was  practically  her 
last  spare  evening  in  London  before  the  start. 

On  January  n,  1894,  she  went  to  Liverpool,  where 
Miss  Cullen  met  her  and  accompanied  her  to  the 
office  of  the  Allan  Line  steamers.  She  had  money 
to  pay  for  her  passage  in  her  hand  when  she  entered, 
but  found  that  the  deck  cabin  was  secured  in  the 
s.s.  Mongolia,  and  that  its  owners  desired  to  treat 
her  as  their  guest, — a  generous  courtesy  which  was 
often  offered  to  her.  Just  before  she  left  England 
she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Allan  : 

I  should  like  to  have  prayers  made  [at  the  Y. W.C.A. 
meetings  in  Tobermory]  for  my  safe  return.  I  love 
my  friends  and  country  dearly,  and  wish  to  come  back 
to  live  and  die  among  my  friends.  I  hope  I  may  yet 
fight  my  way  to  Aros  House  on  stormy  winter  evenings. 

The  presentiment  which  dimmed  her  former  leave- 
taking  overhung  this  departure  even  more  fore- 
bodingly, and  when  bidding  me  farewell  she  seemed 
to  be  wrapped  up  in  the  sombre  expectation  of  death 
in  the  East.  This  was  in  strong  contrast  to  her 
heroic  welcome  of  God's  last  messenger  when,  at 
length,  he  stooped  to  bear  her  home. 

Her  route  was  by  Halifax,  through  Canada,  to 
Vancouver's  Island,  and  thence  to  Yokohama. 

276  THE  FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

On  the  long  train  journey  to  Vancouver  she  read 
Mr.  Marion  Crawford's  San?  Ilario,  Don  Orsino,  and 
A  Roman  Singer.  At  Vancouver's  Island  she  halted 
for  six  days,  paying  visits,  evading  interviewers,  who, 
however,  ran  her  to  earth  at  times.  The  voyage  to 
Yokohama  occupied  a  fortnight,  and  she  rested  only 
two  days  after  her  arrival  (February  19),  going  on 
to  Kobe,  and  giving  in  all  ten  days  to  Japan. 

She  sailed  for  Korea  at  the  end  of  February,  reach- 
ing Chemulpo,  the  port  of  Seoul,  on  March  i,  for 
the  first  of  the  four  visits  to  Korea  which  she  paid 
between  1894  and  1897.  This  visit  lasted  four  and  a 
half  months,  and  she  tells  us  it  produced  the  impres- 
sion that  Korea  was  the  most  uninteresting  country 
she  ever  travelled  in.  Contrasted  with  her  last 
glimpse  of  Japan— its  brilliant  colouring,  varied  vege- 
tation and  picturesque  buildings, — the  brown,  bare 
hills  of  Korea  looked  grim  and  forbidding  in  the 
sunless  spring  days.  The  general  aspect  of  the 
rolling  cultivated  country  seemed  monotonous,  being 
without  wood  except  orchards  and  spindly  pines, 
and  the  hillsides  much  taken  up  with  graves ;  and 
Mrs.  Bishop  missed  the  beauty  of  form  and  fine  gates, 
temples,  and  walls  which  give  dignity  to  a  landscape. 
She  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray : 

Korea  took  less  hold  on  me  than  any  country  I 
ever  travelled  in.  It  is  monotonous  in  every  way, 
and  the  Koreans  seem  the  dregs  of  a  race — indolent, 
cunning,  limp,  and  unmanly. 

This,  however,  was  only  her  first  impression,  and, 
later  on,  she  had  to  admit  that  the  people  were  well 
endowed  mentally  and  not  bad-looking,  and  she  came 
to  find  beauty,  fascination,  and  weird  picturesqueness 
in  the  country,  specially  when  idealised  by  the 
unrivalled  atmosphere  of  the  Korean  winter.  Soon, 


too,  the  interesting  political  situation  which  began  to 
develop  this  winter  gripped  her.  Korea  had  been 
for  centuries  under  the  suzerainty  of  China,  which 
repelled  investigation,  and  it  was  only  by  the  treaties 
of  1883  that  the  land  of  the  "hermit  nation"  was 
opened  to  the  world.  For  some  years  now  Japan 
had  been  penetrating  it  with  its  influence :  the  ancient 
monarchy  was  struggling  to  maintain  its  identity,  in 
face  of  a  host  of  disintegrating  influences,  and  a  crisis 
was  fast  approaching. 

Mrs.  Bishop  spent  a  week  at  Chemulpo,  in  the 
island-studded  estuary  of  the  River  Han,  and  upwards 
of  a  month  at  the  capital,  Seoul,  with  "its  palaces 
and  slums,  its  unspeakable  meanness  and  faded 
splendours,  its  purposeless  white-clad  crowds,  and  its 
mediaeval  processions,  which  for  barbaric  splendour 
cannot  be  matched  on  earth."  She  was  generously 
entertained  and  assisted  by  Mr.  McLeavy  Brown,  the 
able  head  of  the  Korean  Customs,  by  the  Russian 
and  other  European  Ministers,  and  the  missionaries ; 
and  she  not  only  saw  a  great  deal  of  the  life  and 
work  of  Anglican  and  Presbyterian  missions,  medical 
and  otherwise,  but  she  took  many  photographs 
and  collected  notes  which  laid  the  foundations 
of  her  knowledge  of  the  country.  She  writes  to 
Mr.  Murray: 

Photographing  has  been  an  intense  pleasure.  I 
began  too  late  ever  to  be  a  photographer,  and  have 
too  little  time  to  learn  the  technicalities  of  the  art; 
but  I  am  able  to  produce  negatives  which  are  faithful, 
though  not  artistic,  records  of  what  I  see.  When  I 
landed  in  Korea,  I  intended  to  write  upon  it;  but  I 
do  not  think  that,  looked  at  from  my  point  of  view, 
it  would  make  an  interesting  book.  I  did  not  write 
any  journal-letters,  and  have  only  careful  notes  and 
memories.  Everywhere  people  urged  me  to  write, 
but  I  doubt  my  powers. 

278  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

She  did,  however,  send  some  letters  on  Korea  to 
the  St.  James's  Gazette,  and  these  were  copied  into  the 
Anglo-Chinese  and  Anglo-Japanese  papers,  and  were 
translated  into  Japanese,  appearing  in  many  native 
newspapers.  As  they  treated  of  the  extraordinary 
influence  of  Japan  in  Korea  and  its  introduction  of 
"  western  leaven"  to  the  bewildered  "  hermit  people," 
they  were  naturally  most  interesting  to  the  new 
power  in  the  East. 

Mrs.  Bishop  had  written  no  diary-letters  because 
Miss  Clayton,  whom  she  left  very  ill,  died  in  April. 
For  thirty-five  years  Miss  Clayton  had  been  almost 
a  mother  to  her.  "She  shared  with  my  sister  my 
former  letters,  and  to  her  my  Persian  letters  were 
written.  Nothing  remains  to  return  to  in  England 
now."  This  loss  snapped  Mrs.  Bishop's  strongest  tie 
to  England,  and  she  now  felt  free  to  linger  in  the  East. 
Accordingly  she  started  on  a  voyage  eastwards,  up 
the  River  Han,  in  a  sampan  or  native  boat.  Her 
account  of  this  voyage  forms  her  special  contribution 
to  the  exploration  of  Korea,  as  no  European  travellers 
up  the  river  had  recorded  their  observations;  and  it 
was  certainly  the  most  attractive  part  of  her  Korean 
travel.  She  found  it  impossible  to  get  a  reliable 
interpreter  or  make  up  a  caravan,  and,  after  five 
weeks  of  abortive  attempts,  feeling  very  ill,  she  was 
just  going  to  Japan,  when  Mr.  Miller,  a  young  Presby- 
terian missionary,  with  the  cordial  consent  of  his 
brethren,  offered  to  go  too,  taking  a  Korean  servant  to 
help  him  out  with  the  language.  The  little  boat  was 
her  home  for  five  weeks;  the  crew  consisted  of  its 
owner,  "  Kim,"  and  his  hired  man,  and  she  had  a 
capital  Chinese  servant  of  Bishop  Corfe's,  named 

She  explored  both  the  southern  and  the  northern 

1894]  ON   THE   HAN   RIVER  279 

branches  of  the  Han  River,  which  intersects  Korea.  Its 
beauty  delighted  her ;  the  people  inhabiting  the  large 
villages  on  its  banks,  though  extremely  ill-mannered, 
were  more  interesting  than  the  sodden  and  stupid 
dwellers  in  Seoul.  Trees  and  flowers  were  at  their 
loveliest,  and  insects  and  birds  most  brilliant.  Though, 
as  she  says,  "  the  bad  accommodation  and  aggressive 
and  intolerable  curiosity  of  the  people  gave  Korean 
travel  such  a  very  seamy  side  that  it  would  not  suit 
the  globe-trotter,"  yet  her  spirits  revived  under  the 
influences  of  novelty,  discomfort,  hourly  perplexities. 
She  was  once  more  "beyond  the  pale,"  with  nature 
and  human  nature  unknown,  and  therefore  teeming 
with  possibilities  that  comfortable  legations  could 
not  provide,  however  anxious  to  entertain  her.  Her 
descriptions  betray  this  revival  of  her  whole  being, 
this  joie  de  vivre  in  the  wilderness. 

The  scenery  varied  hourly,  and  after  the  first  days 
became  not  only  beautiful,  but  in  places  magnificent 
and  full  of  surprises;  the  trees  were  in  their  early 
vividness  of  green  and  gold  ;  the  flowers  and  flowering 
shrubs  were  in  blossom ;  the  crops  at  their  most 
attractive  stage  of  tender  colouring ;  birds  sang  in  the 
thickets ;  rich  fragrances  were  wafted  from  the  banks ; 
here  and  there  red  cattle  fed  knee-deep  in  abounding 
grass ;  the  waters  of  the  Han,  nearly  at  their  lowest, 
were  clear  as  crystal,  and  their  broken  sparkle  flashed 
back  the  sunbeams  which  passed  through  a  sky  as 
blue  as  that  of  Tibet. 

Her  observant  eyes  noted  the  flowers  great  and 
small,  whether  climbing  about  trees  and  rocks,  or 
carpeting  the  sward  beneath  groves  of  chestnuts, 
maples,  and  limes.  Thus,  where  forests  mantled  the 
mountains,  she  espied : 

Marigolds,  buttercups,  scentless  white  and  purple 
violets,  yellow  violas,  white  aconite,  lady's  slipper, 

280  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

hawkweed,  camomile,  red  and  white  dandelions, 
guelder  roses,  wygelias,  mountain  peonies,  martagon 
and  tiger  lilies,  gentians,  pink  spirea,  yellow  day-lilies, 
white  honeysuckle,  irises,  and  many  others. 

She  often  walked  on  the  banks,  while  the  sampan 
was  poled  up  the  rapids,  and  found  the  people  a  little 
too  inquisitive  and  sometimes  hostile.  Indeed, 
Mr.  Miller  had  to  knock  down  one  cowardly  youth 
who  kicked  her.  She  contrived  a  tiny  "  dark  room  " 
on  her  boat  and  developed  her  photographs.  She 
describes  her  doings  as  follows  : 

Visiting  villages  and  small  towns,  climbing  to  ridges 
bordering  the  Han  to  get  a  view  of  fertile  and  populous 
valleys,  conversing  with  and  interrogating  the  people 
through  Mr.  Miller  and  his  servant,  taking  geographi- 
cal notes,  temperatures,  altitudes,  barometric  readings, 
and  measurements  of  the  river,  collecting  and  drying 
plants,  photographing  and  developing  negatives  under 
difficulties,  were  occupations  which  made  up  busy  and 
interesting  days. 

Only  one  letter  written  on  the  river  is  available. 
It  was  addressed  to  Miss  Cullen  and  dated  May  4  : 

This  morning,  before  I  was  up,  I  was  soused  to  the 
skin  in  bed  in  a  very  bad  rapid,  through  your  Jersey 
and  double  Shetland  shawl,  my  other  garments,  and 
my  blankets.  .  .  .  We  have  been  travelling  three 
weeks,  six  people  in  a  flat-bottomed  punt,  with  a  mat 
roof  4  ft.  6  in.  high  at  the  ridge  pole.  Though  very 
rough  and  precarious  as  to  food,  the  boat-life  is  easy 
and  good  for  my  health.  Can  you  imagine  my  poling 
in  an  emergency,  or  even  taking  a  hand  in  hauling  up 
the  rapids  ? 

The  sampan  voyage  ended  at  Pack-kiu-mi,  where 
Mrs.  Bishop  and  Mr.  Miller  got  ponies  and  grooms  for 
themselves  and  their  servants,  and  rode  north,  over 
the  lovely  Diamond  Mountains  with  their  grand  views, 
to  the  Eastern  treaty  port  of  Wonson,  on  the  Sea  of 
Japan.  The  journey  took  a  fortnight,  and  was  broken 

mi in  nil 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 


by  wretched  nights  in  filthy  and  comfortless  Korean 
inns.  The  bridle  tracks  were  infamous,  the  bridges 
rotten,  the  occasional  roads  deep  in  dust  or  mud. 
Now  and  then,  the  grooms  were  panic-stricken  and 
yelled  with  terror,  beating  the  peasants  who,  at  night, 
showed  them  the  way  with  torches.  Then  Mrs.  Bishop 
knew  that  they  had  "  tiger  on  the  brain."  The  ride 
and  the  glorious  views  were  memorable ;  so,  too,  were 
the  adventures.  Mountain  torrents,  she  says,  boomed 
and  crashed,  the  vivid  green  woods  were  filled  with 
white  and  yellow  blossoms  and  heavy  sweet  odours. 
At  a  little  distance,  the  squalid  villages,  with  their  deep- 
eaved  brown  houses,  massed  amongst  orchards,  or  on 
gentle  slopes,  added  life  to  the  scene,  and  "  the  men  in 
their  queer  white  clothes  and  dress  hats  with  their 
firm  tread,  and  the  bundled-up  women  with  a  straggling 
walk  and  long  staffs,  brought  round  with  a  semi-circular 
swing  at  every  step,  were  adjuncts  one  could  not 
dispense  with."  Distant  panoramas  unfolded  them- 
selves— billows  of  hilly  woodland,  backed  by  a  jagged 
mountain  wall  with  lofty  pinnacles  6,000  ft.  high.  Then, 
in  a  calm  retreat,  a  small  green  semi-circular  plateau 
walled  round  with  rocky  precipices,  they  came  on  the 
Chang-an  Sa,  the  Temple  of  Eternal  Rest,  the  most 
ancient  of  the  Korean  Buddhist  monasteries,  dating 
from  the  sixth  century.  This  great  pile  of  temple 
buildings,  with  deep  curved  roofs,  is  secluded  from 
the  outer  world  by  snow,  for  four  months  of  the  year. 

The  monks  were  very  friendly,  courteous,  and  hos- 
pitable. They  invited  her  to  their  midnight  service, 
and  instructed  Mr.  Miller  in  the  use  of  the  mystic 
syllables  which  they  recited  as  they  told  their  beads. 
They  gave  up  to  her  one  of  their  own  oven-like  cells, 
where  the  heat  of  the  floor,  warmed  by  some  system  of 
chauffage  centrale,  was  so  great  that  it  melted  the 

282  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP.  XH 

candles  in  her  boxes  and  turned  some  sugar  candy  to 
molasses.     In  spite  of  the  heat,  she  was  entreated  not 
to  leave  her  window  open  at  night,  for  fear  of  the 
tigers,  which  appeared  to  be  by  no  means  so  entirely 
creations  of  her  groom's   brain   as   she  was   at   first 
inclined  to  believe.     She  ended  by  crediting  the  tales 
of  their  existence  and  depredations  and  in  accepting 
the  rough  local  division  of  Koreans  into  "those  who 
hunt  the  tiger  and  those  whom  the  tiger  hunts."    The 
monks  shared  with  her  their  fare,  which,  as  they  were 
strict  vegetarians,   consisted    entirely  of  honey  and 
nuts.     But  though  their  manners  were  mild,  and  their 
graceful,  gentle  hospitality  was  a  pleasant  contrast  to 
the  arrogance  and  self-conceited  impertinence  of  the 
Confucians,  and  though  Mrs.  Bishop  felt  that  some  of 
them  were  truly  sincere  in  their  devotions,  yet,  she 
says,  there  was  no  blinking  the  fact  that  their  morals 
were  abominable  and  their  ignorance  so  unbounded 
that  they  knew  nothing  of  the  history  and  tenets  of 
their    creed.      Indeed,   faith    in    Buddhism,    once   so 
powerful,  seemed  hardly  to  exist  in   Korea.     Three 
centuries  back  it  had  been  disestablished ;  and  though 
Confucianism  was  the  official  cult,  yet,  Mrs.  Bishop 
says,  the  entire  absence  of  priests  and  temples  and 
religious  observance  would  lead  a  hasty  observer  to 
put  the  Koreans  down  as  a  people  without  religion ; 
the  religious   faculty  seemed  entirely  absent.      The 
whole  population  was,  however,  in  complete  bondage 
to  the  worship  of  demons  whom  they  believed  to 
inhabit  earth,  air,  and  sky,  every  tree,  ravine,  spring, 
or  mountain  crest,  and  to  find  a  lodgment  on  every 
roof,  chimney,  beam,  jar,  or  shelf.     This  belief,  the  only 
one  he  had,  kept  the  Korean  in  a  state  of  perpetual 
nervous  terror,  and  added  much  to  the  misery  pro- 
duced by  a  hopelessly  corrupt  government. 

i894]  TONG-HAK  RISING  283 

Indifference  to  Korea  and  its  people  was  yielding,  in 
Mrs.  Bishop's  mind,  to  interest,  and  by  the  time  she 
reached  Wonson  she  was  planning  a  tour  in  the 
northern  section  of  the  peninsula.  Wonson,  Mrs.  Bishop 
found  one  of  the  most  attractive  of  the  Treaty  Ports ; 
it  is  in  a  corner  of  Broughton  Bay,  and  sixteen 
miles  from  Port  Lazarief,  the  northern  arm  of  this 
fine  harbour  which  Russia  was  said  to  covet  for  the 
terminus  of  the  Trans-Siberian  Railway.  In  this 
neat,  trim  little  town,  with  its  background  of  fine 
mountains,  dignified  with  snow  during  seven  months 
of  the  year,  Mrs.  Bishop  was  for  twelve  days  the  guest 
of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gale,  cultivated  American  Presbyterian 
missionaries.  It  is  in  sharp  contrast  to  the  wilderness 
out  of  which  she  had  come  and  to  the  turmoil  into  which 
she  was  about  to  be  plunged — to  picture  her  reading 
Dante  with  Mr.  Gale  and  enjoying  the  intellectual 
effort  which  the  Divina  Commedia  demands.  Part 
of  the  time  here,  she  gave  to  junk  excursions  along  the 
north-east  coast,  and  these  led  her  to  the  conclusion 
that  Wonson  would  form  a  better  starting-point  for 
her  autumnal  exploration  than  Seoul. 

Here,  she  first  heard  of  the  Tong-hak  rising,  the 
"  Oriental "  rebellion  against  Western  reforms,  in 
southern  Korea.  This  did  not,  however,  seem  to 
be  important  enough  to  interfere  with  her  plans,  and, 
storing  all  her  travelling  gear  with  the  Gales,  she 
left  by  sea,  intending  to  go  for  a  week  to  Seoul  and 
then  for  the  summer  to  Japan.  But  when  she  reached 
Chemulpo,  on  June  21,  a  very  exciting  state  of  things 
revealed  itself  which  altered  the  situation  completely. 
A  Japanese  fleet  was  in  the  harbour  and  a  Japanese 
army  on  shore.  Though  only  two  hours  had  elapsed 
since  6,000  troops  landed,  the  arrangements  were 
perfectly  orderly  and  quiet.  There  was  no  swagger, 

284  THE  FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

but  the  mannikins — as  she  calls  them — were  obviously 
in  Korea  for  a  purpose  which  they  meant  to  accom- 
plish.' Under  the  pretext  of  protecting  Japanese  sub- 
jects from  the  Tong-hak  rising,  the  dwarf  battalions,  a 
miracle  of  rigid  discipline  and  good  behaviour,  were 
soon  steadily  tramping  to  Seoul. 

It  was  the  beginning  of  that  movement  against 
China  which  revealed  not  only  the  diplomatic  address 
of  Japan,  but  its  skill  in  the  science  and  craft  of  war. 
Here  in  Korea  the  island  nation  had  with  one  blow 
"  outwitted  China."  Every  one  was  completely  be- 
wildered. Mr.  Wilkinson,  the  Vice-Consul  for  Great 
Britain,  called  on  Mrs.  Bishop  almost  immediately, 
and  warned  her  she  must  leave  that  night.  It  was  a 
serious  blow  to  her  plans  and  to  her  personal  comfort. 
Her  luggage  and  money  were  at  Seoul,  whither  the 
Japanese  were  marching.  She  had  nothing  but  the 
clothing  she  wore — a  suit  of  blue  tweed,  stained  and 
worn  with  use  in  the  sampan  and  on  horseback — and 
in  her  purse  there  was  only  money  enough  to  pay 
for  her  passage  to  Chefoo,  the  first  port  of  call  of  a 
Japanese  steamer  which  was  on  the  point  of  leaving. 
But  there  was  no  appeal ;  and  she  reluctantly  yielded, 
and  left  that  night  in  the  Higo  Maru,  without  so  much 
as  enough  to  pay  for  a  jinrikisha  when  she  landed  at 
Chefoo.  She  walked  up  in  the  heat  to  the  British 
Consulate,  feeling  for  the  first  time  in  her  life  a 
quivering  sense  of  sympathy  with  the  unfortunate 
whose  lack  of  all  things  thrusts  them  back  upon 
mendicancy.  She  had  neither  passport  nor  letters  of 
introduction — they  were  in  the  bank  at  Seoul;  her 
dress  was  very  shabby;  she  fancied  that  the  porter 
eyed  her  with  suspicion.  "  I  have  felt  a  far  tenderer 
sympathy  with  the  penniless,  especially  the  educated 
penniless,  ever  since,"  she  wrote.  Mr.  Clement  Allen, 

i894]     FROM   NEWCHANG  TO   MUKDEN       285 

the  Consul,  took  in  the  situation  at  once,  met  her  with 
the  heartiest  welcome,  and  set  about  remedying  her 
immediate  needs  without  delay.  He  took  her  to  the 
bank,  vouched  for  her,  introduced  her  to  several 
ladies,  who  supplied  her  with  summer  clothing,  and 
accompanied  her  back  to  the  Higo  Maru^  which 
brought  her  (June  27)  to  Newchang,  in  Chinese 

This  dreary,  solitary-looking  place  of  mud  and 
muddy  water,  was  the  great  trade-port  of  one  of 
the  most  prosperous  provinces  of  the  empire.  The 
British  Consul  and  his  wife,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lowndes 
Bullock,  gave  her  a  warm  and  reassuring  reception, 
and  she  stayed  with  them  till  July  4,  providing  herself 
with  a  new  outfit.  The  heat  was  terrible,  rain  fell  in 
torrents,  and  mud  was  the  unforgettable  external 
feature  of  Newchang;  but  the  kindness  she  received 
soothed  and  restored  her,  and  its  memory  was  ever 
afterwards  treasured  in  her  heart. 

In  spite  of  rumours  of  an  extensive  inundation,  she 
started  with  Wong,  on  July  4,  up  the  River  Liau  for 
Mukden,  in  one  of  the  long  and  narrow  pea-boats, 
with  matting  roof  and  one  huge  sail,  which  bring 
down,  from  the  interior,  the  beans,  the  raison  d'etre  of 
Newchang.  The  country  was  so  deeply  flooded  that 
the  boat  steered  across  the  inundated  swamps,  thus 
avoiding  many  twistings  and  turnings  of  the  river. 
But  even  so  the  voyage  lasted  a  week,  and  unhappily 
the  boat  was  becalmed  in  a  malarial  swamp,  where 
Mrs.  Bishop  was  seized  by  a  severe  attack  of  fever, 
aggravated  by  mosquitoes.  Later  on  violent  tempests 
tore  the  slight  covering  of  the  roof  into  strips,  so  that 
she  was  soaked  through  and  through  by  torrents  of 
rain.  Crops  and  villages  were  swept  away,  and  where 
they  had  been  the  pea-boat  sailed,  and  she  saw  on 


286  THE  FAR   EAST  [CHAP.  XH 

either  hand  the  ruined  villagers  clinging  to  trees  and 
to  the  walls  of  their  wrecked  farmhouses.  This 
desolation  was  increased  by  a  tremendous  rush  of 
water,  where  the  river-bank  had  given  way.  "  There 
was  a  muddy  rolling  sea,  a  black  sky  dark  with 
tremendous  rain,  and  the  foliage  of  trees  with  sub- 
merged trunks  was  alone  suggestive  of  even  vegetable 
life  and  of  the  villages  which  had  been  destroyed  by 
the  devouring  waters." 

Fate  always  seemed  to  time  her  arrival  at  the  very 
crises  of  calamity,  excitement,  danger,  wherever  she 
went.  Such  floods  had  not  been  known  for  genera- 
tions; and  the  plain  so  wrecked  had  been  a  week 
earlier  the  very  garden  of  Manchuria,  growing  millet, 
wheat,  barley,  mulberry-trees,  tobacco,  beans,  and  the 
opium  poppy. 

Even  worse  was  her  fortune  when  Wong  hired  a 
cart  to  convey  her  into  Mukden.  There  were  but 
three  miles  to  traverse  after  landing ;  but  she  was  so 
ill  she  felt  she  would  rather  die  than  make  another 
effort,  and  to  travel  in  an  unameliorated  Chinese  cart, 
on  an  infamous  road,  was  agony.  The  road  was  in  an 
appalling  state — deeply  rutted,  dangerous  with  tree- 
roots,  quagmires,  and  ditches.  The  climax  was  an 
upset  over  a  bank,  the  mules  following  the  cart,  so 
that  she  found  herself  "  in  the  roof  with  the  cameras 
on  the  top  of  me  and  my  right  arm  twisted  under 
me,  a  Chinese  crowd  to  see  the  '  foreign  devil,'  a  vague 
impression  of  disaster  in  my  somewhat  dazed  brain, 
and  Wong  raging  at  large ! " 

Soon,  however,  she  was  transported  to  a  large 
shady  bedroom  in  the  house  of  Dr.  Ross,  the  senior 
Scotch  missionary  of  Mukden,  restored  to  peace  and 
comfort  by  Mrs.  Ross's  skilful  ministration,  and  a 
time  of  dreamy  restfulness.  But  her  arm-bone  was 

1894]  MUKDEN  287 

splintered  and  its  tendons  were  torn,  so  that  Dr. 
Christie,  the  medical  missionary,  came  for  a  week 
twice  and  thrice  a  day,  and  finally  removed  her  to 
his  own  house.  She  recovered  quickly,  and  was  able 
to  give  an  address  at  the  church  on  July  22 ;  but  for 
long  her  journal-entries  bear  witness  to  the  difficulty 
which  she  experienced  in  writing,  and  she  could  not 
use  her  needle  at  all.  When  she  was  able  she  accumu- 
lated statistics,  and  photographed  all  that  interested 
her  in  the  town.  Mukden,  the  great  centre  of  the 
Chinese  trade  in  fur  and  wheat,  impressed  her  as 
the  most  civilised  and  agreeable  of  Chinese  cities. 
Encircled  by  a  wall  of  beaten  clay  eleven  miles  in 
extent,  it  stands  in  the  midst  of  an  immense  alluvial 
plain,  bearing  superb  crops  and  sprinkled  with  farms 
embowered  in  trees,  and  with  low  blue  hills  limiting 
the  horizon.  Here,  she  had  exceptional  guides  in 
Dr.  Ross  and  Dr.  Christie,  whose  mission  had  been 
established  twenty-two  years,  and  who  had  spared  no 
pains  to  study  Chinese  proprieties  and  courtesies,  and 
were  therefore  on  good  terms  with  the  authorities, 
and,  so  far  as  the  splendid  hospital  and  medical  school 
were  concerned,  were  supported  by  General  Tso  and 
many  of  the  philanthropic  mandarins. 

Mrs.  Bishop  was  much  interested  in  what  she  saw 
of  the  work  done  here,  and,  speaking  at  a  meeting  in 
1901,  referred  to  it : 

I  broke  my  arm  at  the  entrance  to  Mukden,  and  was 
taken,  with  that  kindness  which  never  fails  in  mission- 
houses,  to  Dr.  Christie's  house  to  have  my  arm  cured. 
And  there,  every  day,  and  not  once  in  a  day  only,  there 
were  deputations  of  men  coming  to  Dr.  Christie's  and 
Dr.  Ross's  houses  asking  for  Christian  teachers. 

They  knew  something  of  the  Bible,  purchased  from 
the  colporteurs — all  men  of  approved  Christian  char- 
acter, well-instructed  men — who  travelled  throughout 

288  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

Manchuria  selling  Bibles  in  whole  or  in  part,  and, 
halting,  stayed  in  the  villages  giving  instruction  in  the 
Scriptures.  .  .  .  One  sees  a  Chinese  colporteur  start 
sometimes  with  a  large  pack  on  his  own  back,  or  if  the 
district  is  likely  to  be  one  in  which  Bibles  will  be 
readily  sold,  with  a  coolie  with  another  pack.  He 
comes  to  a  Chinese  town,  or  large  village  :  the  people 
see  his  books,  and  crowd  round  him.  The  Chinese, 
as  you  know,  have  a  great  reverence  for  the  printed 
page.  Everywhere  they  value  it  and  reverence  it ;  and 
in  the  towns  rich  Chinese  keep  men  with  bamboo 
baskets  going  through  the  streets  collecting  the  scraps 
of  written  paper  in  the  bamboo  baskets,  and  gathering 
them  into  stone  shrines,  which  have  a  fire  in  them, 
and  in  which  these  are  reverently  burned,  to  prevent 
them  being  trampled  under  foot  and  from  falling  into 
careless  hands  or  the  mouths  of  dogs.  This  great 
reverence  for  the  written  page  is  fortunately  uniyersal. 
The  colporteur  stands  in  the  largest  space  in  the 
city  that  he  can  find,  and  he  opens  his  pack  and  sells 
.  .  .  and  as  the  books  are  sold  cheap,  they  come  within 
the  means  of  almost  the  humblest  coolie.  .  .  .  He  is 
not  content,  however,  with  mere  selling.  These  col- 
porteurs are  men  who  have  been  instructed  by  the 
Christian  missionaries  of  the  various  missionary  bodies, 
and  have  been  taught  how  to  teach.  They  can  refer 
to  passages  in  the  Scriptures,  and  also  to  passages  in 
the  Chinese  classics,  which  are  always  successful  in 
securing  an  audience.  .  .  .  And  so  the  colporteur  is 
practically  a  missionary. 

But,  though  the  favourable  reception  given  to 
Christianity  is  one  of  the  features  of  Mukden,  Mrs. 
Bishop's  time  here  was  not  devoid  of  other  interests, 
for  the  weeks  she  spent  in  Mukden  were  full  of  war 
rumours  and  excitement.  The  Koreans  had  appealed 
to  China  for  help  against  the  Tong-haks  and  against 
the  Japanese,  who,  a  month  after  Mrs.  Bishop  left 
Korea,  had  captured  the  palace  at  Seoul  and  made 
the  king  practically  a  prisoner.  By  the  beginning  of 
August,  hordes  of  undisciplined  Manchu  troops  from 
North  China,  on  their  way  overland  to  Korea,  were 

1894]  IN  TIENTSIN  289 

pouring  through  Mukden  at  the  rate  of  a  thousand 
a  day.  They  were  animated  by  a  bitter  anti-foreign 
feeling,  and  this  culminated  at  Lian-yang,  forty  miles 
away,  in  the  murder  of  Mr.  Wylie,  a  Scotch  missionary. 
In  Mukden  itself  the  war  ferment  was  increased,  and 
after  General  Tso  left — with  the  army  of  five  thousand 
splendidly  drilled  Chinese  troopers  who  were  all  to 
perish  with  him  on  the  battlefield  of  Pyong-yang— a 
kind  of  anarchy  ensued,  aggravated  by  the  hatred 
between  Manchus  and  Chinese  ;  the  lives  of  foreigners 
were  jeopardised,  and  it  was  imperative  that  Mrs. 
Bishop  should  leave  Mukden.  On  August  20,  hurried 
at  the  end  by  excessive  apprehension,  she  was  carried 
in  a  chair  to  the  river,  and  embarked  in  a  junk,  rain- 
proof and  more  comfortable  than  the  pea-boat.  Her 
missionary  friends  left  Mukden  rather  later. 

The  weather  was  fine  when  she  started,  but  the  end 
of  her  five  days'  voyage  was  in  torrents  of  rain.  She 
reached  the  consulate  at  Newchang  in  better  trim 
than  on  her  former  arrival  there,  and  stayed  a  few 
days  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lowndes  Bullock,  taking  the 
steamer  to  Chefoo  on  the  last  day  of  August.  She 
spent  a  fortnight  at  Chefoo,  where  a  happy  and 
unexpected  event  cheered  her  greatly.  Her  luggage 
left  at  Seoul,  and  the  money  banked  there,  reached  her 
on  September  9,  so  that  she  had  the  comfort  of  her 
own  personal  belongings  once  more,  and  could  ven- 
ture by  the  Peiho  River  to  Tientsin,  en  route  for 

At  Tientsin  [she  wrote  to  Miss  Cullen]  ...  I  gave 
an  address  to  the  women  in  the  native  chapel,  Mr. 
King  interpreting,  and  an  address  on  "Other  Missions  " 
to  the  fifty  missionaries  at  Tientsin,  at  Mr.  Murray's. 
I  went  over  Dr.  Smith's  hospital  with  him.  ...  I  see 
more  and  more  how  piteous  and  fatal  to  missions 
is  the  laying  hands  suddenly  on  men  or  women  to 


29o  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP.XH 

please  others,  or  for  their  fathers'  sake.     Some  of  the 
missions  are  in  an  appalling  state. 

On  the  2ist  she  started,  with  Mr.  Norman1  and  two 
other  missionaries,  on  the  last  two  stages  of  her 
voyage  to  Peking,  where  her  headquarters  were  at 
the  British  Legation.  Naturally  she  arrived  on  the 
verge  of  a  crisis.  Sir  Robert  Hart  was  uneasy, 
and  requested  all  English  residents  to  leave.  A 
Japanese  invasion  was  expected.  Her  stay  in  Peking 
therefore  was  cut  short,  and  she  returned  to  Chefoo 
by  stages. 

The  weather  was  lovely.  She  longed  to  go  to 
Korea ;  but  the  suspense  and  foreboding  of  war  made 
it  wiser  to  accept  an  offer  of  a  berth  in  a  small  German 
steamer  called  the  Swatow,  bound  for  Vladivostock. 
This  promised  at  least  a  glimpse  of  Siberia  and 
Russian  Manchuria,  and  she  hoped  to  investigate 
the  condition  of  the  Korean  immigrants  who  had 
taken  shelter  there  under  the  Russian  flag.  Wong 
returned  for  three  weeks  to  her  service,  helped  her 
to  pack  and  to  arrange  her  luggage,  and  everybody 
was  kind  and  helpful.  But  the  Swatow  lingered,  and 
she  did  not  go  on  board  till  November  2.  Fortunately 
the  weather  was  glorious,  and  she  could  take  long 
walks,  photograph,  and  recover  from  her  Mukden 
disaster.  She  wrote  to  Miss  Cullen  (October  26)  : 

I  had  given  up  all  hope  of  seeing  my  travelling 
gear  again  and  of  going  to  Siberia.  The  Swatow  is 
a  little  steamer  with  one  cabin,  and  I  shall  be  her  only 
passenger !  I  feel  so  rich  and  superabounding !  I 
have  got  150  silver  dollars,  a  bed,  blankets,  curtains, 
saddle,  and  every  carefully  considered  necessary- 
furs  and  gear  for  a  cold  climate,  portable  soup  and 
ambrosial  tea,  and  heaps  of  things  I  don't  need  after 

1  The  Rev.  H.  V.  Norman,  of  the  S.P.G.  North  China  Mission,  who 
was  murdered  by  the  Boxers  at  Yung  Ch'ing  (June  3,  1900). 

1894]  VLADIVOSTOCK  291 

the  penury  and  lack  of  necessaries  for  four  months ! 
Now  I  hope  to  sail  for  Vladivostock  in  five  days,  with 
a  well-selected  outfit,  and  to  remain  in  Siberia  for  six 
weeks,  till  ice  closes  the  harbour.  I  hope  to  get  into 
the  interior.  Somehow,  I  rather  like  the  thought  of 
this  journey.  It  will  give  me  the  complete  change 
of  climate  which  the  doctors  say  is  the  only  thing  to 
cure  the  malarial  fever  from  which  I  have  suffered 
without  ceasing  since  the  first  week  in  July.  I  shall 
be  in  absolutely  new  surroundings  and  in  circum- 
stances in  which  I  have  never  been  before,  and  shall 
see  something  of  a  growing  and  remarkable  part  of  the 
great  Russian  Empire. 

The  Siberian  winter  will  set  in  while  I  am  there, 
and  there  will  be  snow  and  storm,  and  perhaps  I  shall 
see  the  Gilgaks  and  Fish-skin  Tartars,  and  possibly 
even  the  Amur !  I  have  a  special  recommendation 
from  the  Home  Department  in  St.  Petersburg.  All 
these  months  I  have  been  wearying  to  travel  again ; 
but  even  apart  from  the  war,  I  could  not  travel 
without  my  bed  and  gear.  I  have  to  leave  good, 
faithful  Wong  behind  here. 

When  she  reached  Vladivostock  (November  10) 
after  a  stormy  journey,  the  hills  that  surround  its 
superb  harbour  were  powdered  with  snow,  and  a 
snow-storm,  two  days  later,  covered  the  wooded 
islands,  the  wooded  bays  and  wooded  hills — which 
with  their  deep  and  sheltered  channels  bewilder  the 
stranger — with  snow  eighteen  inches  deep.  The  whole 
aspect  recalled  rather  Nova  Scotia,  with  its  deep 
blue  water,  than  Asia.  Her  headquarters  were  with 
Mr.  George  Smith  and  his  wife,  trusted  friends  of  the 
Russian  Governor,  and  therefore  influential  on  her 
behalf.  After  a  few  days,  all  obstacles  to  her  intended 
expeditions  disappeared.  In  these  circumstances,  the 
impression  made  upon  her  was  one  of  good  govern- 
ment and  prosperity,  though  she  noted  the  utter 
stagnation  of  thought  on  all  the  most  interesting 


Of  the  Russian  officials,  both  military  and  civil,  she 
writes  with  grateful  appreciation  : 

They  are  beyond  all  description  charming,  cour- 
teous, hospitable,  helpful,  doing  everything  that 
kindness  can  do  to  further  my  projects. 

Obstacles  of  nature,  however,  still  remained  to  impede 
her  journeys  by  steamer,  tarantass,  and  sledge  to  visit 
the  Korean  immigrants,  for,  as  she  wrote  to  Miss 
Cullen,  the  River  Tumen  on  the  north-east  Korean 
frontier  fairly  baffled  her ;  the  horses  refused  to  ford 
it,  and  she  was  "  beaten  back,  although  aided  by  the 
whole  military  strength  of  Russia  in  that  region  ! " 

However,  she  satisfied  herself  of  the  prosperity  of 
the  Korean  settlements.  Cleanliness  was  enforced,  a 
certain  conformity  to  Christianity  made  profitable,  an 
honest  administration  and  safety  for  their  earnings 
were  secured  to  them  ;  and  the  Koreans,  whom  she 
had  considered  the  dregs  of  a  race,  became  prosperous 
farmers,  with  an  excellent  reputation  for  industry 
and  good  character. 

Another  excursion  was  to  the  frontier  of  Chinese 
Manchuria.  Here  a  reign  of  terror  prevailed  owing 
to  the  thousands  of  undisciplined  Manchu  troops  at 
large.  She  did  not  succeed  in  reaching  the  Amur. 

Perhaps  the  most  interesting  of  all  her  expeditions 
was  to  Ussuri,  by  the  Trans-Siberian  Railway.  The 
extremely  finished  nature  of  this  magnificent  enter- 
prise, built  for  futurity,  much  impressed  her,  and  she 
foretold  an  immense  increase  in  the  drift  of  population 
to  Eastern  Siberia  and  the  commercial  success  of  the 
colossal  undertaking. 

She  left  for  Nagasaki  (Dec.  10)  just  a  month 
after  her  landing  at  Vladivostock.  Thence  she  jour- 
neyed to  Osaka,  and  she  remained  there,  or  at  Kioto, 

,895]  BACK  TO   SEOUL  293 

till  the  end  of  the  year.  She  gave  up  all  thought 
of  returning  to  England,  and  planned  an  extended 
missionary  tour  in  China  to  follow  on  a  brief  residence 
at  Seoul.  Early  therefore  in  January,  1895,  she 
landed,  after  a  very  stormy  passage,  in  Chemulpo. 
Here  she  found  the  Chinese  quarter  deserted  and 
Japan  very  much  in  the  ascendant,  the  roads  safe, 
and  the  Japanese  pegging  out  a  railway.  She  tells 
Miss  Cullen  : 

I  rode  up  to  Seoul  [Jan.  7],  twenty-five  miles,  alone, 
in  slight  snow,  being  cared  for  at  a  military  post 
halfway  by  some  Japanese  soldiers.  If  I  receive  a 
tenth  part  as  warm  a  welcome  in  England  as  I  have 
done  in  Korea  on  returning  I  should  be  glad !  I  am 
staying  with  Mr.  Hillier,  the  British  representative 
[now  Sir  Walter  Hillier,  K.C.M.G.],  and  find  the  new 
regime  wonderfully,  absorbingly  interesting,  and  I  have 
all  facilities  for  studying  it.  The  weather  is  superb ; 
the  severe  cold  suits  me.  I  have  freedom,  and  you 
know  how  I  love  that !  I  have  a  Korean  soldier  of 
the  Legation  Guard  to  go  out  with  me  and  carry  my 
camera,  and  a  horse,  and  a  charming  host.  I  study 
diplomatic  reports,  hear  all  I  can,  and  am  very  sorry 
that  I  shall  have  to  go  as  soon  as  a  steamer  or  gun- 
boat for  Nagasaki  turns  up.  I  am  utterly  steeped  in 
the  East.  I  think,  take  it  altogether,  that  this  journey 
is  wider  and  more  absorbing  in  its  interests  than  any 
I  have  ever  had.  I  am  so  thankful  for  my  capacity 
for  being  interested.  What  would  my  lonely  life  be 
without  it  ? 

Then  to  Mr.  Murray,  a  week  later,  she  endorsed 
this  growing  interest  in  Korea :  "  Korea  has  taken 
more  hold  on  me  in  a  week  now  than  in  five 
months  before." 

She  continued  : 

I  hope  to  return  later.  Instead  of  going  home  this 
spring,  I  have  decided  to  remain  for  this  year  in  the 
Far  East.  I  find  it  quite  impossible  to  tear  myself 
away.  Possibly  when  the  heat  sets  in  I  may  repent; 


but  my  health  has  been  so  much  better  for  the  five 
months  of  winter  cold,  and  I  have  been  able  to  ride 
and  walk  as  much  as  a  person  half  my  age  could  !  I 
purpose  to  go  to  Swatow  and  the  Hakka  country,  and 
then  to  work  my  way  northwards  in  China.  Beyond 
that  I  have  no  plans.  The  transition  state  in  Korea 
is  most  interesting.  I  daresay  you  have  seen  my 
letters  in  the  Si  James's  Gazette. 

The  letters  to  the  St.  James's  Gazette  here  alluded 
to  attracted,  as  the  editor  told  her,  great  and  in- 
fluential attention.  He  added  : 

Your  energy  has  placed  the  St.  James's  Gazette  ahead 
of  all  its  rivals,  so  far  as  full  and  accurate  information 
from  the  seat  of  war  in  the  East  is  concerned. 

Mrs.  Bishop's  five  weeks  in  Seoul  were  full  of 
activity,  and  the  security  which  her  host's  care  lent 
to  her  movements  made  them  a  succession  of  charm- 
ing hospitalities,  from  all  quarters,  rather  than  a  time 
of  solitary  self-dependence  and  strenuous  exertion. 
Having  a  pony  and  soldier  at  her  disposal,  she  saw 
the  city  in  all  its  windings  and  turnings,  the  beautiful 
country  outside  the  gates,  and  several  royal  tombs,  with 
their  fine  trees  and  avenues  of  stately  stone  figures. 
At  the  King's  suggestion  she  went  to  photograph 
parts  of  the  old  and  new  palaces,  long  closed  to 
foreigners,  with  half  a  regiment  of  soldiers  as  a  guard 
of  honour. 

She  also  assisted  at  a  singular  ceremony  when  the 
King,  after  much  pressure  from  Japan,  formally  re- 
nounced, under  circumstances  of  great  solemnity,  the 
suzerainty  of  China,  and  declared  the  independence  of 
Korea.  The  royal  procession  followed  the  long  road 
from  the  Palace  between  lines  of  Korean  cavalry,  who 
turned  their  faces  to  the  wall  and  their  backs  and  their 
ponies'  tails  to  the  King,  and  proceeded  to  a  dark  pine 

,895]    THE  KING  AND  QUEEN  OF  KOREA    295 

wood ;  and  here,  under  the  shadow  of  the  most  sacred 
altar  in  Korea,  and  in  the  presence  of  vast  and  silent 
crowds  of  white-robed,  black-hatted  men,  who  had 
fasted  and  mourned  for  two  previous  days,  he  swore, 
by  the  spirits  of  his  ancestors,  to  establish  the  reforms 
proposed  by  Japan.  Subsequently,  Mrs.  Bishop  had 
four  very  interesting  audiences  with  the  King  and 
Queen,  in  the  quaint  and  beautiful  Kymg-Pok  Palace. 
The  Queen,  who  was  credited  with  intriguing  against 
Japan,  possessed  singular  political  influence,  and  ex- 
erted a  strong  sway  over  the  weak-kneed  King  and 
others.  In  these  interviews  she  was  usually  the 
spokeswoman,  and  impressed  Mrs.  Bishop  vividly  by 
her  brilliant  intelligence  and  force,  and  her  grace  and 
charming  manner.  With  her  glossy  raven  hair  and  keen 
bright  eyes,  she  looked  very  well  in  a  handsome  full 
gown  of  mazarine  blue,  a  full-sleeved  bodice  of  crimson 
and  blue,  girdled  and  clasped  with  crimson  and  coral 
tassels.  In  a  strictly  private  audience,  which  lasted 
over  an  hour,  the  King  and  Queen  discussed  the 
political  situation  with  dignity  and  propriety,  asked 
Mrs.  Bishop  many  questions  respecting  the  friendship 
of  England's  Queen  for  "poor  Korea,"  and  added,  with 
touching  simplicity,  "  England  is  our  best  friend." 

Before  she  left  Seoul,  the  King  and  Queen  sent  her 
some  beautiful  and  valuable  gifts,  amongst  them  two 
inlaid  cabinets  bound  and  decorated  with  wrought 
brass.  On  February  4  she  left  for  Chemulpo,  walking 
part  of  the  way.  At  Mapu,  she  got  into  the  jinr&isJta 
which  had  been  following  with  her  box,  but  the 
clumsy  runner  overturned  it  backwards,  and  the  fall 
injured  her  spine  so  severely  that  she  felt  its  effects  all 
the  spring  and  summer.  A  week's  rest  at  Chemulpo 
was  necessary,  but  on  the  i2th  she  went  on  board  the 
Higo  Maru  for  Nagasaki,  where  she  stayed  ten  days 


with  Mr.  and  Mrs.   Fuller,  and  on  the  igth  gave  an 
address  on  "  Korea  and  Manchuria." 

Three  days  later  she  embarked  on  the  Empress 
of  Japan  for  Hong  Kong,  to  visit  Bishop  and 
Mrs.  Burdon.  On  the  way,  while  the  steamer 
was  anchored  at  the  mouth  of  the  Yangtze,  an 
accumulation  of  letters  reached  her  from  Shanghai. 
She  had  almost  given  up  hope  of  hearing  from  home, 
and  her  letters  thither  were  full  of  appeals  for  the 
long-delayed  news  which  she  so  eagerly  desired, 
and  this  great  packet  overwhelmed  her  with  delight. 
Two  whole  days  she  spent  on  board  the  steamer 
reading  and  answering  letters.  She  reached  the 
"  Bishop's  Palace"  at  Hong  Kong,  in  tropical  heat,  on 
the  2/th,  and  found  there  a  gathering  of  missionaries 
— "  Muirheads,  Moules,  Pruens,  Mrs.  Stewart,  Miss 
Wedderburn" — but  she  was  too  ill  to  sit  up  after 
dinner,  and  needed  two  people  to  help  her  out  of 
her  chair.  In  a  letter  to  Miss  Cullen,  dated  March  i, 
she  wrote  : 

I  have  no  plans  after  Hangchow  and  Shanghai.  I 
have  seen  a  paper  on  myself  in  Dr.  Peirson's  Review, 
for  which  I  am  very  sorry,  as  it  has  completely  shaken 
my  faith  in  the  accuracy  of  the  statements  made  there. 
I  send  you  a  note  of  those  which  are  altogether  untrue. 
The  religious  papers  are  very  much  to  blame  for  their 
careless  statements. 

In  spite  of  her  bad  health  she  lectured  twice  in 
Hong  Kong,  the  first  time  on  "  Korea,"  at  the  City 
Hall,  to  a  crowded  audience ;  the  second  time  to  the 
Hong  Kong  Literary  Society  upon  "  Lesser  Tibet." 
Her  plans  were  taking  shape  in  the  direction  of  what 
was  practically  a  tour  of  inspection  of  missionary 
agencies,  and  her  hosts  set  her  on  the  way  by 
accompanying  her  to  Swatow,  and  by  commending 

i895]  HANGCHOW  297 

her  to  all  the  C.M.S.  missionaries.  She  bore  creden- 
tials, therefore,  to  the  four  great  Protestant  missions 
in  China — the  Church  Missionary  Society,  the  London 
Missionary  Society,  the  Chinese  Inland  Mission,  and 
the  Presbyterian  Mission.  Much  of  this  tour  was 
made  by  steamer  or  house-boat,  the  land  parts  chiefly 
in  a  chair.  She  travelled  alone,  but  was  welcomed 
at  consulate  or  mission-house  wherever  she  halted. 

She  went  by  Swatow — where  Mr.  Mackenzie  secured 
a  snapshot  of  her,  as  she  arranged  a  group  of  natives 
to  be  photographed — to  Wukingfu,  Amoy,and  Foochow 
to  Shanghai.  Thence  she  travelled  in  a  two-storeyed 
open-sterned  boat  to  Hangchow,  through  country 
most  attractive  in  the  first  flush  of  spring,  where  great 
lilac  clusters  of  wistaria  overhung  the  water,  and 
through  ancient  waterways  of  large  cities— with  deep 
eaves,  overhanging  balconies,  steep  stone  bridges  and 
flights  of  stairs.  She  was  much  impressed  with  Dr. 
Main's  Hospital,  Hangchow,  and,  speaking  in  1897, 
she  said :  "  It  is  a  credit  to  a  distinctly  Christian 
agency,  such  as  the  Church  Missionary  Society,  to 
be  the  possessor  of  the  finest  hospital  in  the  East," 
and  adding,  "  By  the  influence  of  Dr.  Main  a  great 
many  of  the  mandarins  of  Hangchow,  and  even  the 
Viceroy  of  the  province  himself,  have  been  won  over 
to  some  sympathy  with  Western  civilisation  and  to 
a  belief  in  the  superiority  of  Western  medicine." 
Mrs.  Main  writes  of  this  visit : 

My  first  introduction  to  Mrs.  Bishop  was  in  1895, 
when  she  visited  us  here  in  Hangchow.  Having 
known  my  husband  in  Edinburgh,  where  he  studied 
medicine,  and  being  deeply  interested  in  medical 
missions,  she  came  to  see  the  work  in  which  we  are 
engaged.  We  found  her  most  interesting  and  greatly 
enjoyed  her  visit,  which  lasted  about  ten  days.  Yet  it 
was  no  easy  matter  to  give  her  all  the  information  she 

298  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP.  XH 

sought.  We  felt  bound  to  give  up  our  time  almost 
entirely  to  her ;  she  needed  and  absorbed  all  our  atten- 
tion, and  the  only  drawback  was  this  difficulty  of  giving 
her  sufficient  time.  One  thing  that  much  impressed 
me  was  the  minimum  of  baggage  that  accompanied 
her  on  her  travels.  Her  powers  of  endurance  and 
capacity  to  "rough  it  "were  to  us  marvellous,  but  it 
was  the  secret  of  her  getting  about  so  easily  as  she 
did.  She  had  a  wonderful  facility  in  making  herself 
understood  by  the  Chinese,  though  she  did  not  know 
their  language.  She  was  a  most  enthusiastic  photo- 
grapher, yielding  to  the  fascination  and  excitement  of 
developing  her  plates  and  toning  her  prints  at  night, 
midnight,  and  even  early  morning.  She  gave  me  my 
first  lesson  in  photography,  and  was  as  pleased  as 
could  be  to  teach  me  how  to  develop,  which  she  told 
me  in  the  "  dark  room  "  was  the  most  interesting  part 
of  it  all.  Her  interest  in  medical  mission  work  was 
very  keen  and  wide-awake,  and  not  least  in  China,  a 
country  which — she  told  us — had  quite  "captivated 
and  enthralled  her."  She  was  a  great  stimulus  to 
us  in  our  work  here ;  her  letters  have  been  most 
sympathetic,  and  we  feel  her  loss  as  that  of  a  true 
and  good  friend. 

From  Hangchow  she  went  on,  by  canal  and  river, 
to  the  ancient  historic  town  of  Shao  Hsing,  with  its 
beautiful  environs,  and  the  Rev.  W.  Gilbert  Walshe 
says  of  her  visit  here : 

1  had  the  honour  of  entertaining  Mrs.  Bishop  for  a 
short  period  at  Shao-hing.  She  proposed  to  stay  for 
a  night  only ;  but  finding  the  city  and  neighbourhood 
full  of  interest,  she  consented  to  prolong  her  visit  for 
nearly  a  week.  It  was  characteristic  of  her  spirit  of 
independence  that  she  declined  all  offer  of  escort, 
although  the  journey  involved  a  long  and  disagreeable 
chair-ride  from  Hangchow  to  Si-hing,  occupying 
several  hours,  and  a  night  journey  by  boat,  and  her 
only  companions  on  the  latter  were  the  Chinese  boat- 
men, who,  of  course,  did  not  understand  a  word  of 
English.  An  amusing  incident  took  place  en  route. 
Mrs.  Bishop,  who  had  been  provided  with  provision 
for  the  journey  bv  her  Hangchow  friends,  had  her 
evening  meal  in  the  boat,  and  handed  the  remains 


i89s]  SHAO-HING  299 

of  the  chicken  to  the  boatmen,  who,  supposing  she 
required  it  to  be  carved  in  Chinese  fashion  for  con- 
venience of  transport  from  dish  to  mouth  by  "  chop- 
sticks," soon  brought  it  back  to  her,  duly  minced  into 
fragments  with  a  cleaver,  and  Mrs.  Bishop  had  the 
utmost  difficulty  in  persuading  them  that  she  had  eaten 
enough  barbarian  fashion,  and  that  she  wished  them 
to  have  the  remainder. 

Her  visit  to  me  was  very  interesting,  in  every  way. 
I  introduced  to  her  notice  some  new  features  of  interest 
daily,  and  her  stock  of  photographic  plates  soon  came 
to  an  end  in  her  endeavour  to  secure  lasting  pictures 
of  the  ancient  buildings  and  monuments  with  which 
our  city  abounds.  She  usually  rode  in  a  sedan  chair 
on  her  expeditions,  and,  though  generally  very  much 
exhausted  when  the  close  of  the  day  came,  she  ap- 
peared to  be  tireless  so  long  as  anything  of  interest 
remained  to  claim  her  attention.  She  was  very  easy 
to  entertain,  and  my  bachelor  establishment  had  no 
difficulty  in  supplying  her  wants,  so  long  as  she  was 
provided  with  indigestible  things  in  the  way  of  pastry. 
She  generally  breakfasted  in  her  room,  and  rose  late, 
retiring  at  night  about  n  p.m.  apparently  quite  worn 
out ;  but  she  always  had  sufficient  reserve  of  strength 
to  occupy  an  extra  hour  or  two  in  the  development  of 
her  photographs.  She  carried  a  folding-chair  specially 
constructed  to  support  her  back  when  she  sat;  this 
chair  was  broken  when  she  arrived  at  Shao-hing,  and 
she  was  surprised  and  delighted  to  find  that  the  in- 
genuity of  our  local  Chinese  carpenter  was  quite  equal 
to  the  task  of  repairing  it.  A  special  fancy  of  hers 
was  the  study  of  our  local  flora  and  fauna,  and  new 
varieties  of  trees  and  shrubs  were  her  particular 
delight.  Her  absolute  unconsciousness  of  fear  was  a 
remarkable  characteristic ;  and  even  in  remote  places, 
where  large  crowds  assembled  to  witness  her  photo- 
graphic performances,  she  never  seemed  in  the  least 
to  realise  the  possibility  of  danger.  Had  she  done  so, 
she  would  have  missed  a  great  deal  of  what  she  saw 
and  learned.  On  more  than  one  occasion  I  was  con- 
scious of  a  feeling  of  nervousness,  though  I  flattered 
myself  that  I  knew  something  of  the  character  of  the 
people  among  whom  I  lived ;  but  even  in  the  face  of 
the  largest  and  noisiest  crowds,  Mrs.  Bishop  proceeded 
with  her  photography  and  her  observations  as  calmly 


as  if  she  were  inspecting  some  of  the  Chinese  exhibits 
in  the  British  Museum. 

On  her  return  to  the  coast,  via  Ningpo,  I  insisted 
on  escorting  her  by  canal  to  the  river,  where  a  house- 
boat was  to  await  her ;  but  she  entirely  declined  to 
accept  any  further  attention,  and  I  reluctantly  took 
leave  of  her  there,  with  a  journey  of  two  days  before 
her,  to  be  accomplished  without  any  companionship. 
I  shall  never  forget  the  picture  of  the  white-haired 
lady  sitting  alone  in  the  front  of  the  boat,  as  she 
waved  her  farewells — it  was  so  characteristic  of  her  to 
stand  alone  and  independent  of  help,  even  when  most 
cheerfully  volunteered.  She  would  not  even  accept  a 
reasonable  provision  for  the  journey,  and  contented 
herself  with  a  few  necessaries,  including  filtered  water 
and  some  fresh  eggs  ;  and  as  it  happened  she  was  not 
destined  to  enjoy  even  these,  for,  owing  to  her  ignor- 
ance of  the  language,  she  was  not  able  to  express  her 
wishes  to  the  boatmen,  and,  as  a  result,  they  boiled 
the  eggs  in  the  filtered  water  for  the  first  meal, 
leaving  her  without  any  drinking  water  for  the  rest  of 
the  journey.  Mrs.  Bishop  was  very  anxious  to  con- 
ciliate the  natives  of  whatever  country  she  passed 
through,  and  when  travelling  in  the  interior  of  China 
she  generally  adopted  a  costume  which  was  designed  to 
fulfil  the  Chinese  canons  of  good  taste.  The  principal 
feature  of  it  was  a  large,  loose  jacket,  or  mantle,  of 
"  pongee,"  which  effectually  disguised  the  figure  of  the 
wearer,  but  which,  unlike  Chinese  garments  generally, 
was  furnished  with  most  capacious  pockets,  in  which 
she  carried  all  sorts  of  travelling  paraphernalia,  in- 
cluding some  articles  of  her  own  design.  Amongst 
other  things,  she  used  to  produce  from  one  of  the 
pockets  a  portable  oil  lamp,  ready  for  use  at  a  moment's 
notice,  and  it  seemed  rather  remarkable  that  the  oil 
did  not  leak.  If  I  remember  rightly,  she  carried  a 
loaded  revolver  in  another  pocket  as  a  protection 
against  robbers,  the  result  of  some  painful  lessons  not 
learned,  I  am  happy  to  say,  in  China. 

Mrs.  Bishop  impressed  me  as  being  a  woman  of 
unusual  gifts,  not  only  as  a  speaker  and  writer,  but 
also  as  an  observer  and  collector  of  information, 
possessing  so  much  courage  and  force  of  character 
as  to  make  her  practically  fearless,  undismayed  by 
obstacles,  and  undeterred  by  physical  weakness ;  and 


yet  there  was  nothing  of  that  masculinity  which  is  so 
common  a  feature  in  women  who  have  made  their 
mark  in  distinctively  masculine  fields  of  activity.  Her 
nature  was  most  sympathetic,  and  wherever  she  went 
her  first  consideration  was  to  study  the  social  con- 
dition of  the  country,  the  position  of  women,  the 
treatment  of  the  sick,  etc.,  and  to  devise  means  for 
the  alleviation  of  pain  and  disease.  My  association 
with  her,  though  covering  but  a  short  period,  will  ever 
be  one  of  my  happiest  memories. 

From  Shao  Hsing,  having  refused  Mr.  Walshe's 
escort,  she  went  back  to  Shanghai  by  inland  water- 
ways, through  a  region  of  great  fertility,  prosperity, 
and  beauty,  to  Ningpo  and  its  lovely  lakes.  Here, 
believing,  as  she  did,  that  if  the  nations  of  the  East 
are  to  be  evangelised  it  must  be  by  native  agents, 
she  was  immensely  interested  in  Mr.  Hoare's  splendid 
work  of  training  young  men  as  catechists,  and  perhaps 
eventually  clergymen. 

When  Mrs.  Bishop  arrived  at  Shanghai  it  was  a 
great  joy  to  her  to  find  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bullock  at  the 
Consulate,  where  she  made  her  headquarters  for 
some  time.  She  wrote  to  Mr.  Murray  while  at 
Shanghai  on  May  27  : 

I  have  now  been  travelling  in  China  for  three  months 
with  great  satisfaction  and  interest,  and  have  got  about 
a  hundred  photographs  as  a  record  of  my  journey.  I 
have  travelled  quite  alone,  and  have  not  met  with 
anything  disagreeable.  I  am  just  going  to  Japan  for 
the  summer,  to  go  through  a  course  of  blisters  for  my 
spine,  which  I  hurt  considerably,  more  than  three 
months  ago.  I  have  a  project  of  some  very  serious 
travelling  in  the  late  autumn  and  winter,  if  these 
remedies  are  successful. 

To  Miss  Cullen  she  wrote: 

My  interests  have  been  solely  among  missions  since 
I  left  Hong  Kong.  I  liked  and  admired  the  English 
Presbyterians  at  Swatow  and  Wuking  far  more  than 

302  THE   FAR   EAST  [CHAP,  xn 

any  body  of  men  and  women  that  I  have  seen.  In  the 
Fukien  Province  a  great  deal  of  work  is  being  done, 
but  the  most  spiritual  part  by  the  fifty  missionaries  of 
the  C.M.S.  The  China  Inland  missionaries  as  a  rule 
are  delightful,  but  they  tell  me  that  they  are  not 
meeting  with  marked  success.  "  Success  "  is  not  a  word 
to  apply  to  any  missions  that  I  have  seen. 

Mrs.  Bishop's  penetration  convinced  her  that  it  is 
not  those  missionaries  who  live  comfortably,  and  give 
a  percentage  of  their  time,  strength,  and  zeal  to  the 
work,  who  truly  interpret  Christ  to  the  Chinese. 
The  Oriental  conception  of  saintliness  is  outraged  by 
this  blend  of  "worldliness  and  other-worldliness." 
Those  rather  really  set  forth  the  message,  which  was 
sent  to  men  of  good  will,  who,  like  the  Rev.  David 
Hill,  "one  of  the  noblest  and  most  sympathetic  mis- 
sionaries who  ever  sought  the  welfare  of  the  Chinese," 
live  in  a  Chinese  house,  and  dress  and  eat  as  natives. 
She  wrote  home  after  the  conclusion  of  the  operations 
in  Manchuria  and  of  the  war  between  China  and 
Japan : 

The  Manchurian  missionaries  are  in  my  black 
books.  With  whom  did  they  leave  those  few  sheep 
in  the  wilderness  ?  The  Roman  Catholic  men  and 
women  all  remained  at  their  posts  at  Mukden  and 

Mrs.  Bishop  was  too  large-minded  and  sincere  to 
deny  or  blink  the  fact,  that  many  of  the  Catholic 
priests  were  an  example  to  their  Protestant  brethren, 
and  that  in  China,  at  all  events,  most  of  them  despised 
comfort  and  espoused  poverty  for  Christ's  sake. 



MRS.  BISHOP  left  Shanghai  in  ss.  Kaisow  (June  4,  1895) 
for  Nagasaki,  intending  to  spend  the  summer  in  Japan. 
She  went  first  to  Osaka,  and  then  to  Tokyo,  and  from 
Osaka  wrote  to  Miss  Cullen  commenting  on  the  news, 
which  had  reached  her,  of  Professor  Blackie's  death  and 
funeral  in  March  :  "  I  was  very  fond  of  him.  Doubtless 
the  pure  in  heart  has  seen  God."  About  herself  she 
continues  : 

I  am  ill  with  rheumatism  and  sciatica,  and  am  going 
next  week  to  Tokyo  for  the  best  advice  and  afterwards 
to  some  baths.  My  plan  is  to  get  quietness  and 
seclusion  if  possible,  and  to  wear  Chinese  dress,  in 
which  it  is  possible  to  be  easy  and  comfortable.  I  am 
in  rags  and  most  of  my  stockings  have  no  feet.  My 
boots  were  so  absolutely  done  that  I  had  to  wear  straw 
shoes  over  them,  but  I  have  now  got  Japanese  shoes. 
You  would  be  surprised  with  my  photos.  I  have  made 
great  advances  lately  and  print  with  a  highly  enamelled 
surface  like  a  professional. 

At  Tokyo  she  was  the  guest  of  Bishop  and  Mrs. 
Bickersteth,  the  first  of  many  visits  to  them.  Of  these 
Mrs.  Bickersteth  writes  : 

It  was  in  June  1895  that  Mrs.  Bishop  first  became 
our  honoured  guest  in  Tokyo,  though  both  my  husband 
and  I  had  met  her  before  in  England.  As  the  weeks 
and  months  went  on,  our  acquaintance  ripened  into 
close  friendship,  and  it  was  a  great  joy  to  us  to  know 


304  THE   CHANGING   EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

that  she  always  looked  on  our  house  as  her  home  in  the 
Far  East,  returning  to  it  once  and  again  when  wearied 
with   her  long  journeyings.     It  is  impossible  to  say 
what  her  friendship  was  to  us,  or  how  we  rejoiced  in 
intercourse  with  that  cultured  mind  and  loving  heart, 
always  full  of  sympathy  for  our  concerns,  whether  of 
the  Mission  or  of  private  life,  and  yet  also  delightfully 
ready  to  pour  out  her  stores  of  knowledge  and  experi- 
ence, with   a  complete  absence  of  self-consciousness 
and  a  perfect  command  of  language  which  made  listen- 
ing to   her  a  treat  indeed.     Mrs.   Bishop  has  left   a 
charming  record  of  her  affectionate  appreciation  of  my 
husband  in  the  letter  printed  in  his  biography,  while 
he  on  his  side  was  singularly  attracted  by  that  gracious 
womanliness,  which  perhaps  stands  out  as  the  most 
characteristic  feature  of  our  distinguished  guest.     I 
shall  never  forget  a  June  day  in  1895.     Mrs.  Bishop 
had  discovered  that  it  was  my  husband's  birthday,  and 
she  brought  to   his   study  an  envelope  containing  a 
cheque   for  the  exact  amount  required   to   build   an 
orphanage  urgently  needed  by  St.  Hilda's  Mission  and 
very    near    our    hearts.     Her   joy  in  giving  was   at 
least  as  great  as  ours  in  receiving,  and  it  was  crowned 
on  the  Eve  of  St.  Michael's  Day  that  same  year  when 
my  husband — assisted   by  some   of  the  English  and 
Japanese  clergy — solemnly  dedicated  to  God's  service 
the  pretty  and  convenient  Japanese  house  henceforth 
known  as  the  "  John  Bishop  Orphanage."     It  is  not  for 
me  to  speak  of  the  personal  devoutness  and  strong 
faith  which  were  the  background  and  ruling  spring  of 
her  life,  but  it  was  these  characteristics  which  made  her 
wise  counsel  and  sympathy  so  inestimable  a  blessing 
both  in  those  Tokyo  days  and  in  after  years  when  we 
met  constantly  as  fellow-members   of  the    Women's 
Committee  of  the  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the 
Gospel.     The  sadness  and  loneliness  of  Mrs.  Bishop's 
life  always  struck  me  painfully  and  forcibly,  not  only 
in  its  brave  battle  against  constant  suffering  and  ill- 
health,  but  in  its  absence  of  any  close  ties  of  kindred 
since  the  two  great  sorrows  of  her  life  had  come  to  her 
in  quick  succession.     But  this  personal  loneliness  only 
seemed  to  quicken  her  power  of  loving  sympathy  with 
the  joys  as  well  as  the  sorrows  of  others,  and  those 
who  were  honoured  with  her  friendship  feel  indeed 
that  it  is  a  gift  of  God  in  their  lives. 

i895]        THERMAL  SPRINGS   IN  JAPAN        305 

On  July  i,  accompanied  by  a  Japanese  servant,  she 
made  her  way — a  journey  of  eight  hours — to  Ikao,  the 
mountain  village  where  she  purposed  to  spend  two 
months  for  the  sake  of  the  neighbouring  thermal 
springs.  At  first  she  lived  in  the  inn,  but  soon  after 
her  arrival  she  rented  a  small  Japanese  house,  where 
her  time  was  chiefly  occupied  in  working  at  her  book 
on  Korea  and  in  developing,  toning,  and  enamelling 
photographs.  The  weather  was  not  propitious,  for 
she  writes  to  Mr.  Murray  (August  5)  that  there  had 
been  ceaseless  rain  or  mist  for  twenty-nine  days  with 
the  exception  of  eight  hours,  but  she  adds : 

The  quiet  is  delightful.  Japan  is  wonderful.  Her 
solid  advance  in  seventeen  years  is  most  striking,  and 
she  is  quiet  and  dignified  and  keeps  her  head.  She 
is  impressively  civilised. 

Fortunately,  after  the  middle  of  August,  the  skies 
cleared  gloriously  and,  for  a  month,  she  could  take 
long  walks  and  photograph  temples,  villages,  and  lakes. 
Then  she  went  back  to  stay  with  Bishop  and  Mrs. 
Bickersteth  at  Tokyo,  where  she  saw  a  great  deal  of 
her  old  friend  Sir  Ernest  Satow  ;  and  early  in  October, 
hearing  rumours  of  the  assassination  of  the  Korean 
Queen,  she  left  for  Korea,  after  some  difficulty  about 
her  passport.  She  went  up  at  once  to  Seoul,  to  stay 
with  Mr.  Hillier  at  the  British  Legation,  and  there  she 
found  events  and  rumours  of  the  most  exciting  kind 
prevalent  in  the  city. 

The  Eastern  drama  had  moved  rapidly  since  early 
in  February,  when  Mrs.  Bishop  left  Seoul.  The  fall  of 
Wei-hai-wei,  and  the  capture  of  the  Chinese  navy,  had 
established  the  supremacy  of  Japanese  arms  in  the  Far 
East,  and  led  to  the  peace  of  May,  1895,  by  which 
nominal  independence  was  secured  to  Korea.  But,  the 
immediate  result  was  the  transference  to  Japan  of  the 



role  of  mentor  and  guide  of  the  Hermit  Kingdom. 
Japan  instituted  much-needed  reforms  in  Korea  and 
sincerely  endeavoured  to  realise  them ;  but  she  lacked 
both  the  necessary  experience  and  the  tact  to  carry 
them  through.  One  of  her  agents  damaged  Japan's 
prestige  and  position  incalculably  by  embarking  on 
Oriental  intrigues,  which  led  to  the  extinction  of  the 
only  element  of  strength  and  of  political  power  at  the 
Korean  Court.  Mrs.  Bishop  found  that  the  Queen, 
— that  charming,  unscrupulous,  ill-fated  Queen,  whom 
she  had  seen  and  admired  for  her  ability — had  indeed 
been  murdered^  and  that  the  amiable,  but  weak  and 
timid  King  was  now  a  prisoner  in  his  palace,  in  daily 
dread  of  sharing  her  fate.  A  coup  d'etat  of  a  momentous 
character  was  believed  to  be  impending,  and  it  was 
hoped  that  Japan  might  receive  a  mandate  from  the 
Powers  to  put  an  end  to  the  confusion  which  reigned. 
Mrs.  Bishop,  however,  had  very  little  time  at  her 
disposal  before  starting  on  the  long-planned  journey 
to  Western  China,  and  she  wanted  first  to  explore 
North-west  Korea,  and  to  visit  the  scene  of  the  Japanese 
victory  at  Pyong-yang,  where  her  friend  General  Tso 
fell  (September,  1894),  with  the  flower  of  the  Chinese 
army.  So,  having  devoted  a  fortnight  to  watching  the 
political  drama  and  to  collecting  accurate  information 
about  it,  she,  with  much  regret,  made  up  her  party  for 
a  month's  journey.  An  excellent  interpreter,  Mr. 
Yi-Hak-In— to  whose  bright  intelligence  and  sense  of 
humour  she  attributed  much  of  the  pleasure  as  well  as 
the  interest  of  the  journey — a  soldier  servant  provided 
by  Mr.  Hillier  from  the  Legation  guard,  three  saddle 
ponies  with  their  mapu  or  grooms,  and  two  baggage 
animals,  constituted  her  caravan.  She  dressed  as  nearly 
as  possible  in  Korean  dress,  and  describes  her  journey, 
which  she  considered  singularly  bright  and  prosperous, 

1895]  KOREAN   LANDSCAPE  307 

most  graphically  in  Korea  and  Her  Neighbours  (vol.  ii. 
pp.   78-171).    The  weather  was  glorious — indeed  she 
says  "  it  may  be  taken  for  granted  that  every  Korean 
winter's  day  is  splendid,"  and  the  worst  that  could  be 
said  of  the  scenery  was  that  it  looked  "  monotonously 
pretty  "  in  the  brilliant  sunshine.     Her  general  impres- 
sion of  the  Korean  landscape  was  that  on  the  whole  it 
lacked  life  and  emphasis ;  but  the  fertile  country,  with 
low    but   shapely    hills    (where    deep-eaved,   brown- 
thatched   roofs  clustered  near  clear-running  streams 
and  dark  clumps  of  pine  and  glowing  crimson  maple), 
was  now  and  then  broken  by  romantic  ravines  ter- 
minating in  steep  bluffs,  over  deep  green  streams, 
or  by  fine  views  of  lofty  dog-tooth  peaks    and    of 
serrated   ranges,   some   of  which   she  crossed.     The 
still,   faintly   blue    atmosphere    idealised    everything, 
and  she  notes  the  artistic  effect  of  "  sails  of  boats 
passing  dreamily  into  the  mountains  over  the  silver 
water,"  and  of  stretches  where   the  vegetation   had 
"  turned  to  a  purple  as  rich  as  English  heather  blos- 
som, while  the  blue  gloom  of  the  pines  emphasised 
the  flaming  reds  of  the  dying  leafage."     But  irredeem- 
ably monotonous  were  the  dull,   dazed   apathy  and 
ill  manners  of  the  native  population,  and  the  dismal 
squalor  of  the  towns  and  incredible  dirt  and  discomfort 
of  the  native  houses,  where  she  cheerfully  bore  annoy- 
ances, with  which  she  thinks  it  doubtful  if  any  European 
man  would  have  put  up.    The  one  redeeming  feature 
of  the  miserable  dens  she  lived  in  appears  to  have 
been  their  warmth,   for  even   if  "  the    mercury    fell 
to   freezing  point    outside,    the    hot    floor    kept   the 
inside   temperature    up    to   80    deg."     The    contrast 
between  nature  and   humanity  perhaps  accounts  for 
Mrs.  Bishop's  remark  that  "  Korea  takes  a  strong  grip 
on  all  who  reside  in  it  sufficiently  long  to  overcome 


the  feeling  of  distaste  which  at  first  it  undoubtedly 

She  twice  visited  Pyong-yang,  the  second  capital  of 
Korea,  which  is  of  vast  antiquity  and  stands  in  a 
magnificent  situation,  of  which  advantage  is  skilfully 
taken.  The  first  view  delighted  her :  the  plain  was 
blue  and  violet  melting  into  a  blue  haze,  "  the  crystal 
waters  of  the  river  were  bluer  still,  brown-sailed  boats 
drifted  lazily  with  the  stream,  and  above,  the  grey 
mass  of  the  city  rose  into  a  dome  of  unclouded  blue." 
Her  account  of  the  assault  and  massacre  of  the  pre- 
vious September,  and  of  the  American  Mission  here, 
forms  the  most  interesting  episode  in  her  record  of 
this  journey. 

The  missionaries  had  found  their  work  very  dis- 
couraging until  after  the  war,  when  a  great  interest 
awoke  in  the  minds  of  the  Koreans,  and  numbers  turned 
to  the  Gospel  as  to  a  refuge.  Mrs.  Bishop  said  "  it 
seemed  more  to  realise  the  Pentecostal  days  than  any- 
thing I  have  ever  seen,"  and  speaking  in  1901  she  gave 
an  interesting  detailed  account  of  this  movement : 

I  spent  a  year  in  Korea  at  different  times.  When 
I  first  went  there  I  thought  it  one  of  the  most  hopeless 
countries  I  had  ever  seen.  Then  came  the  war  between 
China  and  Japan.  It  was  supposed  that  the  infant 
beginnings  of  Christianity  would  be  swamped  by  that 
war  and  the  events  which  followed  it.  But  the  contrary 
was  the  case ;  and  I  cannot  do  better  than  say  what  I 
saw  in  the  west  of  Korea,  in  the  town  of  Pyong-yang 
— a  town  of  sixty  thousand  people,  reputed  to  be  the 
richest  and  wickedest  city  in  Korea,  a  great  commercial 
centre  in  a  very  green  and  fruitful  country  and  grain- 
producing  neighbourhood.  Before  the  Japanese  entered 
it,  and  defeated  the  Chinese  just  outside  its  walls  in  a 
bloody  battle,  about  fifty  thousand  of  the  population 
fled.  Nothing  showed  more  what  the  ravages  01  war  are 
than  that  a  merely  friendly  occupation  by  the  Japanese 
should  have  ruined  a  thriving  city.  There  was  scarcely 

i895l  REVIVAL  OF  MISSION  309 

one  stone  left  upon  another  that  had  not  been  thrown 
down.  The  troops  used  the  roofs,  the  beams,  the 
joists,  and  windows — all  the  woodwork,  in  fact — for 
their  bivouac  fires,  and  had  destroyed  the  city  without 
war.  When  I  first  went  there,  people  were  trying 
vainly  to  find  out  where  they  had  once  lived.  At 
Py5ng-yang  there  had  been  made  twenty-eight  converts, 
but  converts  by  no  means  enlightened,  or  satisfactory. 
They  fled,  and  the  peril  they  underwent  deepened 
their  Christianity,  and  they  went  to  the  villages  of  the 
north  and  preached  there.  They  had  Gospels  with 
them.  In  some  villages  they  left  a  Gospel  behind 
them  ;  perhaps  they  had  more  than  one.  In  the  place 
where  the  greatest  work  went  on,  it  was  simply  the 
Gospel  of  St.  Mark  that  had  been  left.  This  was  read 
aloud  in  the  evenings,  and  the  men  assembled  to  hear ; 
and  after  a  time  they  decided  that  St.  Mark  told  of  the 
true  God,  and  the  demons  were  evil  spirits  who  were 
to  be  no  more  worshipped.  The  women  were  desirous 
of  preserving  the  fetishes,  but  they  gave  way  at  last ; 
and  the  fetishes,  which  had  received  the  adoration  of 
generations,  were  destroyed.  No  calamity  followed 
this  ;  and  the  people  after  a  time  built  a  hovel  in  order 
that  they  might  pray  to  God  in  the  evenings.  One  can 
imagine  what  kind  of  prayers  they  were.  Then  one 
old  man  decided  that  he  would  send  his  grandson  to 
Mr.  Moffatt,  the  missionary  in  Pyong-yang,  to  hear 
more  of  what  was  known  as  "  the  way." 

When  I  returned  to  Pyong-yang  Mr.  Moffatt  had 
quite  a  number  of  young  men  from  different  villages 
where  Gospels  had  been  left,  living  in  a  barn,  being 
instructed  for  six  hours  a  day.  And  these  young  men 
told  the  story  of  how  the  Gospel  had  come — how  the 
Gospel  had  come  to  every  one  of  them — through  the 
written  Word  of  God,  without  a  teacher.  And  it  had 
been  the  power  of  God  unto  salvation,  as  it  is  the 
power  of  God  unto  salvation  to  every  one.  Pyong- 
yang itself  was  changed.  The  church,  which  held 
three  hundred,  had  been  enlarged  in  the  meantime  by 
the  exertions  of  the  people  themselves.  It  has  been 
enlarged  three  times  since  and  a  new  one  built.  The 
anxiety  to  hear  the  Word  of  God  and  get  the  Word  in 
PyOng-yang  was  something  wonderful.  Old  things 
have  passed  away,  for  some  of  the  worst  characters 
have  been  transformed.  I  think  at  the  time  I  was 


there  there  were  nearly  1,800  seeking  baptism;  but 
now  I  suppose  there  are  nearly  4,000  in  that  part 
of  Korea.  I  do  not  think  there  is  any  part  of  the 
world  where  the  Gospel  is  making  such  rapid  progress 
as  in  this  poor,  dark,  oppressed,  demon-worshipping 

On  December  6  Mrs.  Bishop  reached  the  familiar 
harbour  of  Chemulpo,  in  a  glorious  frosty  sunset, 
having  come  down  part  of  the  way  from  Pyong-yang 
in  a  small  Japanese  steamer  which  she  had  insisted  on 
boarding,  unaware  that  it  had  been  impressed  for 
transport  purposes.  She  went  on  the  following  day 
to  Seoul,  where  she  halted  for  a  fortnight. 

When  she  left  Korea  at  Christmas  time,  it  was  on 
board  the  Genkai  Maru  bound  for  Shanghai.  Here 
once  more  she  was  welcomed  at  the  Consulate  by 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lowndes  Bullock,  who  assisted  her  to 
make  arrangements  for  the  celebrated  journey  up  the 
Yangtze  and  in  Western  China,  which,  occupying  in 
all  five  months,  supplied  material  for  her  book  on 
The  Yangtze  Valley  and  Beyond.  The  further  venture, 
into  the  mountains  which  buttress  the  lofty  levels  of 
Tibet,  beyond  the  Chinese  frontier-post  into  the 
country  of  the  Man-tze — where  she  lingered  several 
weeks — added  much  to  her  knowledge  of  the  empire 
and  its  debatable  border  territory. 

True  to  her  constant  desire  to  get  as  quickly  as 
possible  out  of  a  foreign  settlement  in  the  East,  and 
into  the  freedom  beyond  the  pale,  Mrs.  Bishop  soon 
left  the  kindly  hospitality  of  the  Shanghai  Consulate 
(Jan.  10,  1896)  for  her  deeply  interesting  voyage  by 
steamer  and  houseboat,  300  miles  up  the  Yangtze. 
She  went,  first,  five  days'  steamer  journey  to  Ichang, 
stopping  on  the  way  at  Hankow,  an  abominably 
dirty  treaty  port,  protected  by  a  dyke,  46  feet  high, 

1896]  ON  THE  YANGTZE  311 

from  the  perennial  summer  rise  of  the  stream.  The 
great  river  was  now  at  its  lowest,  and  the  midwinter 
sunless  days  were  rather  tedious  as  she  steamed  up 
between  the  high  grey  mud-banks,  which  hid  the 
surrounding  country,  and  through  shallow  meres  and 
fen-like  flats  of  muddy  land,  where  the  steamer 
frequently  grounded  on  a  mud-bank.  But  both 
monotony  and  civilisation  were  left  behind,  with  the 
steamer,  when  she  reached  Ichang,  standing  high  on 
the  river  bank,  with  a  fine  background  of  fantastic 
peaks.  Here,  she  had  her  first  glimpse  of  the  life 
of  a  Roman  Catholic  mission  station  and  realised  the 
anguish  of  loneliness  which  some  of  their  workers 
endure,  living  and  dying  among  the  natives  in  isolation 
and  self-sacrifice.  But  in  spite  of  their  self-denial, 
and  the  celibacy,  poverty,  and  asceticism  that  always 
appeal  powerfully  to  the  Oriental  mind,  she  was 
struck  with  their  growing  unpopularity.  This  she 
attributed  in  part  to  their  political  ambitions. 

She  was  detained  at  Ichang  some  days,  and  then 
began  an  exciting  and  perilous  journey  in  a  flat- 
bottomed  houseboat,  with  tall  mast  and  sail  and 
projecting  rudder.  For  seventeen  days  Mrs.  Bishop 
was  rowed,  or  towed,  by  sixteen  boatmen,  or  trackers, 
through  a  succession  of  grand,  gigantic  gorges,  whose 
precipitous  sides  rose  sometimes  sheer  2,000  feet 
before  they  culminated  in  splendid  splintered  peaks. 
Sometimes  the  precipices  retreated,  leaving  the  river 
room  to  expand  into  lake-like  stretches,  with  pleasant 
brown  farmhouses  on  the  banks,  half  seen  amongst 
orange-groves  and  orchards.  A  Chinese  Switzer- 
land she  calls  it, "  one  long  glory  and  sublimity,"  and 
the  villages,  along  the  water's  edge,  reminded  her  of 
Como  and  Varenna.  But  she  had  been  warned,  at 
Ichang,  that  the  perilous  waters  of  the  Upper  Yangtze 


contained  few  reaches  where  rapids,  races,  and 
rock-broken  water  would  leave  her  time  to  do  much 
besides  look  after  her  own  safety.  And  she  found 
that  the  risks  and  perils  fully  warranted  the  worst 
description.  At  the  great  cataract  of  Hsin-lan,  where 
the  dangers  of  the  river  are  centred,  she  marvelled 
that  any  one  should  ever  have  contemplated  sur- 
mounting such  a  thing  of  awe  and  majesty,  a  waterfall 
with  a  boiling  cataract  below.  The  Yangtze,  however, 
is  the  sole  highway  for  the  vast  commerce  of  the 
richest  district  of  China,  Sze-Chuan,  a  prosperous 
province  the  size  of  France,  and  the  patient  per- 
sistence of  the  Chinese  character  surmounts  even  this 
obstacle.  But  of  the  thousands  of  junks  which 
attempt  the  passage,  towed  up  by  as  many  as  120 
trackers,  or  shooting  down  the  rapids  like  a  flash, 
one  in  twenty  is  annually  lost.  She  herself  saw 
more  than  one  big  junk — 

strike  a  rock  while  flying  down  a  rapid  and  dis- 
appear as  if  she  had  been  blown  up,  her  large  crew, 
at  the  height  of  violent  effort  the  moment  before, 
with  all  its  frantic  noisy  accompaniments,  perishing 
with  her. 

In  the  last  of  the  great  gorges  she  passed  through, 
before  her  three  weeks'  journey  ended  at  Wan-Hsien, 
there  was  no  foothold  for  the  towing  trackers,  and 
the  boat  was  dragged  up,  inch  by  inch,  against  a 
tremendous  current,  clawed  along  by  hooks  attached 
to  the  boatmen's  poles,  "  and  terrible,  she  says,  "was 
the  straining  of  these  poor  fellows  on  the  rough  and 
jagged  rocks."  On  Ash  Wednesday,  a  fine  white 
nine-storeyed  pagoda  on  the  bank  announced  their 
approach  to  the  city  of  Wan-Hsien ;  and  its  burst  of 
beauty  as  her  boat  rounded  a  sudden  bend  was,  she 
says,  one  of  the  unforgettable  views  of  China.  The 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bisliop. 

,896]  THE  MYRIAD  CITY  313 

superbly  impressive  and  stately  city,  with  temple 
and  pagoda-crowned  cliffs  and  heights,  rises  out  of 
woods  backed  by  the  precipices  which  encircle  a  lake- 
like  basin  of  the  broad  river,  as  it  disappears  among 
the  blue  and  misty  mountains.  The  "  Myriad  City  " 
is  the  foremost  of  the  many  prosperous  cities  of 
Western  China,  and  she  felt  that,  for  position  and 
appearance,  it  ranked  high  among  the  cities  of  the 

The  officials  here  had  always  been  notoriously 
antagonistic  to  foreigners,  and  the  mission  work 
was  purely  pioneer,  in  a  city  so  hostile  that  one  of 
the  missionaries  had  lately  been  badly  beaten ;  the 
ladies  of  the  China  Inland  Mission,  where  Mrs. 
Bishop  stayed,  never  went  outside  the  compound. 
A  new  chief  magistrate  had,  however,  arrived,  with 
orders  to  treat  foreigners  civilly,  so  all  was  changed. 
Mrs.  Bishop  was  able  to  take  many  photographs  of 
the  steep,  picturesque  city,  its  temples  and  beautiful 
bridges,  and  of  the  lovely  villages  which  delighted 
her  eye,  built  irregularly  on  torrent  sides,  draped 
with  clematis  and  maidenhair,  or  perched  within 
fortifications  on  the  flat  tops  of  the  truncated  sand- 
stone hills. 

Here,  Mrs.  Bishop  turned  her  back  on  the  river 
and  left,  in  a  carrying  chair,  on  a  further  journey 
of  300  miles  to  Paoning-fu.  Having  failed  to  find 
a  European  free  to  accompany  her,  she  decided  to 
venture  alone  and  to  buy  her  own  experience. 

She  writes  to  Miss  Cullen  (February  23,  1896) : 

To-morrow  I  start  on  a  long  land  journey  with  my 
servant  and  seven  coolies.  It  will  be  nearly  twenty 
days  before  I  reach  the  next  mission  station.  Tra- 
velling by  land  and  sleeping  at  Chinese  inns  is  a 
novelty  which  I  regard  with  some  trepidation.  I  think 
my  journey  round  to  Chunking  will  take  two  and 

3H  THE  CHANGING   EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

a  half  months.  The  mandarin  here  gives  me  an 
escort,  as  the  road  in  its  earlier  stages  is  disturbed. 
China  is  very  interesting  and  terrifying. 

On  the  way  she  was  exposed  to  constant  curiosity 
and  much  hostility.  She  was  carried  the  whole  time 
in  an  open  sedan  chair^  wearing  the  big  Japanese 
hat  which  she  regarded  as  the  ideal  travelling  hat : 
this  was  perhaps  rather  indiscreet,  as  her  appearance 
roused  a  certain  suspicion,  amongst  the  crowds  who 
pressed  round  her.  In  almost  every  place  the  officials 
did  their  best  to  protect  her ;  but  once,  at  any  rate, 
she  felt  she  had  only  escaped  with  her  life,  from  the 
animosity  of  the  populace,  by  barricading  herself  in 
her  room.  After  this,  she  found  it  wiser  not  to  put 
up  at  the  usual  halting-places,  and  instead  she  stopped 
for  the  night,  in  country  villages,  where  the  people 
were  quiet  and  harmless,  and  where  she  learnt  much 
of  their  ways  and  their  views  on  missions  and  other 
topics  that  interested  her.  She  reduced  her  food  to 
two  meals  a  day — one  of  tea  and  boiled  flour  before 
starting,  and  one  of  rice  at  the  end  of  her  day's 
stage;  several  times  she  slept  wet  to  the  skin  and 
rolled  in  her  blanket ;  and  twice  at  least  her  servant, 
reporting  on  the  accommodation  he  had  secured 
for  the  night,  announced,  "  You  will  not  like  your 
room  to-night,  Mrs.  Bishop— it  is  in  the  pigs'  house." 
She  was  quite  conscious  that  her  equipments  and 
manner  of  living  were  rougher  than  they  had  ever 
been  before,  and  that  she  had  reached  "  bed  rock  "—to 
quote  a  telling  bit  of  American  slang ;  but  the  scenery 
alone,  she  felt,  repaid  her  for  the  many  hardships, 

She  was  glad  indeed,  nevertheless,  when  the  soft 
afternoon  sunshine  revealed  to  her  the  temple  roofs 
and  gate  towers  of  Paoning-fu  rising  out  of  dense 
greenery  and  a  pink  mist  of  peach  blossom. 

,896]  BISHOP  CASSELS  315 

In  the  distance  appeared  two  Chinese  gentlemen, 
whose  walk,  as  they  approached,  gave  me  a  suspicion 
that  they  were  foreigners ;  and  they  proved  to  be 
Bishop  Cassels,  the  youngest  and  one  of  our  latest 
consecrated  Bishops,  and  his  coadjutor,  Mr.  Williams, 
formerly  Vicar  of  St.  Stephens,  Leeds,  who  had  come 
to  welcome  me. 

Paoning-fu  was  a  great  centre  of  the  China  Inland 
Mission,  which  in  this  part  of  Sze-Chuan  is  entirely 
Anglican,  and  Dr.  Cassels,  a  well-known  Cambridge 
athlete,  and  one  of  the  pioneer  missionaries  in  the 
interior,  presided  over  some  sixty  Anglican-clergy.  He 
had  recently  returned  from  his  consecration  in  West- 
minster Abbey,  and  his  devoted  native  congregation 
had  presented  him  with  the  hat  of  a  Chinese  Master 
of  Arts  and  a  pair  of  high  boots  which  he  was  careful 
to  wear,  and  which  gave  him  in  Mrs.  Bishop's  eyes 
"  the  picturesque  aspect  of  a  marauding  middle  age 

He  says  : 

I  was  very  much  struck  with  Mrs.  Bishop's  bravery 
in  travelling  in  an  open  chair.  She  came  right  across 
from  Wan-Hsien  on  the  Yangtze  to  my  station,  a  ten 
days'  journey,  without  other  escort  than  that  of  a 
Chinese  servant,  who  knew  just  a  little  English.  Hear- 
ing of  her  coming,  my  colleague,  the  Rev.  E.  O.  Williams, 
and  I  went  out  to  meet  her.  Besides  the  open  chair, 
which  in  itself  rather  attracted  the  curiosity  of  the 
Chinese,  she  was  wearing  a  big  Japanese  sun-hat,  and 
the  two  together  made  her  journey  less  pleasant  than 
it  might  otherwise  have  been.  Mrs.  Bishop  stayed 
in  the  ladies'  house  at  Paoning,  but  came  over  several 
times  to  our  humble  abode.  Whilst  with  us  she 
expressed  her  feeling  that  we  ought  to  have  a  hospital 
at  Paoning.  I  took  her  to  see  one  or  two  houses,  and 
she  most  kindly  and  generously  sent  me  later  on  a 
cheque  for  £100  towards  founding  a  hospital  as  the 
Henrietta  Bird  Hospital.  It  was  shortly  afterwards 
opened,  and  is  now  in  the  charge  of  Dr.  William 

316  THE  CHANGING   EAST       [CHAP,  xm 

Mrs.  Bishop  felt  that  this  new  and  interesting  journey 
in  Sze-Chuan  had  opened  a  fresh  page  in  her  knowledge 
of  missions ;  and  though  she  could  not  approve  all  she 
saw— and  on  her  return  never  failed  to  make  helpful 
friendly  criticisms  to  those  ultimately  responsible  and 
able  to  rectify  blunders— yet,  throughout  the  journey, 
she  noted  with  pleasure  the  pains  taken  by  the  mis- 
sionaries of  the  China  Inland  Mission  to  avoid  any 
violation  of  Chinese  customs.  Their  houses  were  built 
in  the  native  fashion,  there  was  no  aggressive  wounding 
of  Chinese  prejudices,  and  they  were  careful  to  observe 
all  the  Chinese  courtesies. 

From  Paoning-fu  she  went  on  by  chair  to  Kuan- 
Hsien,  a  long  stage  on  which  she  had  the  great 
advantage  of  being  accompanied  by  Dr.  Horsburgh, 
whose  self-sacrifice  and  unbounded  devotion  to  the 
work  she  considered  beyond  praise,  though  she  could 
not  endorse  all  his  methods.  It  was  a  great  satisfac- 
tion to  Mrs.  Bishop  to  hear  later  that  Dr.  Horsburgh 
had  been  so  successful  in  modifying  the  native 
hostility  that  his  workers  had  not  to  fly  during  the 
riots  of  1901. 

Unfortunately  during  this  stage  of  her  journey  she 
met  with  an  accident  which  left  its  traces  for  some 
time,  and  which  was  perhaps  due  to  a  less  careful 
regard  for  native  prejudices  on  Mrs.  Bishop's  part 
than  that  exercised  by  the  missionaries.  Mrs.  Bishop 
was  hit,  on  the  back  of  her  head,  by  a  stone  flung 
with  considerable  force.  Dr.  Horsburgh  writes: 

My  wife  was  the  only  foreigner  with  her  when  she 
was  hit.  The  people  did  not  wish,  I  think,  to  cause 
injury,  but  they  were  annoyed  because  the  chair- 
bearers  would  not  stop.  They  wanted  to  see 
Mrs.  Bishop,  who  was  an  object  of  much  interest. 
Mrs.  Bishop  used  to  have  her  meals  out  in  the  narrow 
street,  sitting  in  her  sedan  chair  with  the  foreign 

1896]  THE  TA-LU  317 

feeding  appliances  about  her.     The  people  stood  and 
gazed,  but  always,  I  believe,  respectfully. 

Mrs.  Bishop's  own  impression  was  that  she  was 
regarded  with  hostility,  and  certainly  the  stone  which 
struck  the  back  of  her  head  was  hurled  with  sufficient 
impetus  to  leave  its  mark,  and  unfortunately  its  effects, 
for  nearly  a  year. 

For  some  days  Mrs.  Bishop's  way  had  lain  along  the 
Ta-lu,  the  great  flagged  imperial  road  from  Pekin  to 
Chengtu,  which  a  thousand  years  ago  must  have  been 
a  noble  work.    The  road  is  nominally  sixteen  feet  wide, 
and  more  than  a  millennium  back  an  emperor  planted 
beautiful  red-stemmed  cedars,  at  measured  distances, 
on  either  side.     Many  of  the  trees,  all  marked  with  the 
imperial  seal,  and  counted  annually  by  the  magistrates, 
have  attained  an  enormous  size ;  and  the  days  spent 
under  their  solemn  shade  were,  she  says,  halcyon  days 
of  delightful  travelling  without   any   drawbacks,    in 
beautiful    weather    and    a    bracing    atmosphere.    At 
Kuan  Hsien  again  there  was  a  special  charm  for  her 
from   its   being  the   starting-point  of  the   wonderful 
engineering  works,  the  oldest  and  perhaps  the  most 
important  in  China.     Here  many  centuries  ago  lived 
Li   Ping,   one   of  the  great  philanthropic  benefactors 
of  the  Chinese  people.     By  dividing  the  waters  of  the 
cold  crystal  stream  of  the  Min,  and  by  an  elaborate 
system   of  irrigation  works,  he  redeemed   the  noble 
plain  of  Chengtu  from   drought  and   flood   for   two 
thousand  years.     This  vast  plain,  the  richest  in  China, 
and  perhaps  in  the  world,  is  a  singular  and  unrivalled 
picture  of  rustic  peace  and  prosperity,  and  the  popula- 
tion of  four  millions  depends  for  its  very  existence  on 
the  maintenance  of  the  irrigation  works  which  Li  Ping 
carried  out  long  before  the  Christian  era.     Without 
these  the  east  and  west  of  the  plain  would  be  a  marsh, 

3i8  THE  CHANGING   EAST       [CHAP,  xm 

and  the  north  a  waterless  desert.  A  beautiful  shrine 
is  dedicated  to  this  great  man,  to  whose  motto,  "  Dig 
the  bed  deep,  keep  the  banks  low,"  faithfully  carried 
out  for  twenty-one  centuries,  boundless  fertility  and 
wealth  is  due.  His  shrine,  roofed  with  green  glazed 
tiles,  delighted  Mrs.  Bishop  with  its  picturesque 
appearance.  It  stands  behind  the  town  in  a  romantic 
gorge,  through  which,  on  a  very  fine  bamboo  suspen- 
sion bridge,  the  road  carrying  all  the  trade  from  Tibet 
enters  the  country ;  and  the  beautiful  pavilions  and 
minarets,  amongst  stately  lines  of  cryptomeria,  formed, 
she  says,  the  most  fascinating  group  of  buildings  in  the 
Far  East,  combining  the  grace  and  decorative  witchery 
of  the  shrines  at  Nikko  with  a  grandeur  and  stateliness 
of  their  own. 

This  was  not  the  only  time  that  Mrs.  Bishop  had 
noted  instances  where  individuals  in  China  have  carried 
out  benevolent   instincts,   or  sought   to  "  accumulate 
merit,"  by  helping  their  fellow  men.    And  the  gigantic 
scale  on  which  organised  charities  are  carried  out,  and 
the  patience  and  persevering  self-denial  with  which 
they  are  administered,  by  small  and  great,  in  most  of 
the  cities  in  China,  moved  her  admiration.   Foundlings, 
orphans,  the  blind,  the  aged,  strangers,  drowning  per- 
sons, the  destitute,  and  the  dead  are  all  objects  of  an 
infinite  variety  of  organised  benevolence ;  and  though 
the  methods  were  not  our  methods,  yet  they  were,  she 
thought,  none  the  less  praiseworthy.    True,  she  found 
that  the  Chinese  failed  obviously  in  acts  of  personal 
kindliness  and  goodwill,  the  charities  being  usually  on 
a  large  scale  and  for  the  benefit  of  human  beings  in 
masses,  and  the  individual  lost  sight  of.     But,  in  this 
respect,  she  felt  they  were  only  on  a  par  with  much 
easy  charity  by  proxy  at  home. 
The  view  of  the  clear  sparkling  Min,  breaking  forth 

,8963  MISSION   PROBLEMS  319 

from  its  long  imprisonment  in  the  mountains,  and  of 
the  magnificent  mountains  behind — with  snow  peaks 
tinged  pink  in  the  early  sun — from  which  issued  the 
caravans  of  yaks,  bearing  the  trade  from  Tibet,  inspired 
Mrs.  Bishop  with  a  desire  "to  break  away  from  the 
narrow  highways,  the  crowds,  and  the  oppressive 
curiosity"  of  China  proper,  and  she  determined  to 
extend  her  journey,  up  the  western  branch  of  the  Min, 
into  the  mountainous  borderland  between  China  and 
Tibet,  and  to  see  Tibetans,  yaks,  rope-bridges,  and 
aboriginal  tribes.  She  went  first,  however,  to  Chengtu, 
in  the  plain,  escorting  a  missionary  lady  whose  nerves 
had  suffered  much  during  the  anti-foreign  riots  of  the 
previous  summer.  At  that  time,  four  of  the  ladies  had 
been  hidden,  for  eleven  weeks  during  the  hottest 
season,  in  a  room  without  a  window,  and  one  of  the 
young  wives  had  escaped  with  her  three  infants  to  a 
ledge  above  the  river,  whilst  her  husband  kept  the 
mob  at  bay ;  and  Mrs.  Bishop  felt  that  no  one,  who  had 
listened  to  the  howling  of  a  Chinese  mob,  could  be 
surprised  to  hear  that  some  of  the  ladies  utterly  broke 
down,  and  one,  at  least,  lost  her  reason  from  the 
prolonged  anxiety. 

She  wrote  during  this  journey  to  Miss  Cullen  : 

I  daresay  you  think  I  say  too  little  about  missions. 
There  are  many  problems  connected  with  them,  which 
grow  in  difficulty  as  missions  spread  and  increase. 
The  one  which  specially  afflicts  me  is  the  waste  of 
working  power,  and  the  scandal  among  natives  caused 
by  the  ceaseless  marryings  and  maternities  of  mis- 
sionary women  making  an  end  of  work ;  and  not 
only  this,  but  that  in  inland  China  many  of  the 
best  of  the  single  ladies  have  much  of  their  time 
occupied  nursing  the  mothers  five  and  six  months 
after  each  baby  is  brought  into  the  world.  In  one 
small  mission  two  ladies  came  out  four  years  ago,  and 
one  three  years  ago,  each  giving  up  useful  homework. 

320  THE   CHANGING   EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

Each  tells  me  that  she  has  never  had  time  to  begin 
Chinese  with  a  teacher,  far  less  mission  work,  owing  to 
these  babies.  Do  people  at  home  contribute,  they  ask, 
to  send  out  monthly  nurses,  who  must  remain  so  for 
four  to  six  months  at  a  time — or  missionaries  ?  There 
are  various  reforms  absolutely  necessary,  and  none 
know  it  better  than  the  missionaries  themselves,  but 
any  one  suggesting  them  would  be  thought  an  enemy. 
The  missionary  army  as  represented  on  paper  has 
perhaps  an  effective  strength  of  one-half.  My  en- 
quiries are  most  carefully  made  and  solely  among 

Before  leaving  Chengtu  as  it  stood,  on  a  sunny 
April  day,  in  the  middle  of  the  blossoming  poppy 
crops,  "  where  waves  of  colour  on  slope  and  plain 
rolled  before  the  breeze,"  Mrs.  Bishop  wrote  to 
Mr.  Murray  a  resume  of  her  intended  journey : 

The  voyage  up  the  Yangtze  to  Wan-Hsien,  and  nine 
hundred  miles  overland  since,  have  taken  three  months. 
I  intended  to  return  from  this  point,  but,  as  I  cannot 
go  home  till  the  cool  weather,  I  am  planning  to  travel 
three  hundred  miles  northwards,  and  then  to  come 
down  to  Ta-chien-lu  by  a  route  taken  by  an  Austrian 
traveller,  which  brings  me  among  many  of  the  Tibetan 
and  aboriginal  tribes.  I  had  no  intention  of  being  a 
Chinese  traveller,  but  have  drifted  into  it. 

Accordingly  on  the  i2th  she  turned  northward 
again,  up  the  Min  into  the  mountains,  to  the  border- 
lands between  the  Chinese  official  frontier  and  the 
east  of  Tibet,  peopled  by  the  half  independent  Man-tze 
tribes.  The  forests,  rivers,  mountain  passes,  and  old 
castles  delighted  her,  and  she  made  many  observations 
of  the  people  and  their  customs.  She  thoroughly 
enjoyed  her  adventures  in  the  "  altitudes  and  free- 
dom" of  the  mountains,  and  revelled  in  the  "clear 
escape  from  the  crowds  and  cramped  grooviness  of 
China."  The  inns  were  better,  the  air  keen  and 
bracing,  and  the  hardy  mountaineers,  with  pleasant 


1896]  A  CHRISTIAN  VILLAGE  321 

faces,  minds,  and  manners,  took  her  at  times  for  a 
Man-tze  of  a  different  tribe,  and  treated  her  with 
a  polite  friendliness  that  created  an  atmosphere 
delightful  to  breathe.  She  was  equally  attracted  by 
the  thick  carpets  of  sky-blue  dwarf  iris,  white  and  blue 
anemones,  yellow  violas,  primulas  and  lilies,  climbing 
roses  red  and  white,  and  orchids  and  exotic  ferns, 
amongst  which  she  recognised  lovingly  our  own 
filix  mas,  osmunda  regalis,  and  lily  of  the  valley.  Far 
above,  countless  peaks  cleft  the  blue  sky  in  absolute 
purity  of  whiteness,  then  the  sun  went  down  in 
glory  and  colour,  and  there  was  a  perfect  blaze  of 
stars  in  the  purple  sky.  The  "  beyond  "  beckoned  her 
on ;  and  though  she  knew  her  travelling  arrangements 
were  so  inherently  unsuitable  that  they  must  break 
down,  yet,  so  long  as  it  was  physically  possible,  she 
was  prepared  to  follow. 

Of  one  incident  Mrs.  Bishop  gave  a  very  graphic 
account : 

After  going  up  the  Yangtze,  and  travelling  by  land 
several  hundred  miles,  I  went  beyond  China  proper 
into  the  country  of  the  Man-tze.  When  I  reached 
the  mountains,  there  was  a  mountain  pass,  and  a  great 
storm  came  on.  The  torrent  I  had  to  pass  was 
swollen  and  it  was  impossible  to  cross  it.  There  was 
no  inn  in  the  village  and  it  was  very  poor.  My  ser- 
vant succeeded  in  getting  shelter  for  me  from  the  rain 
which  was  falling  in  torrents,  and  I  slept  there  in  a 
shed  for  one  night.  He  came  back  presently  and  said, 
"  There  are  Christians  in  this  village,  Mrs.  Bishop." 
You  know  how  faithless  and  unbelieving  one  is ;  and 
I  said,  "  Christians !  Nonsense ;  no  Europeans  have 
ever  been  here,  far  less  missionaries."  He  looked 
rather  sulky  as  he  went  out  of  the  shed,  but  came 
back  after  a  time  and  said,  "  There  are  Christians 
here,  and  it  is  a  Christian  village  ;  and  the  head  man 
and  the  elders  are  coming  to  see  you  presently." 
And  they  came,  and  were  very  anxious  to  find  out 
if  I  were  a  Christian.  .  .  .  However,  I  satisfied  them 


322  THE  CHANGING  EAST       [CHAP,  xm 

by  showing  my  Bible.  My  servant  was  a  Christian 
too.  And  they  stayed  for  an  hour  and  a  half:  and  the 
story  that  one  of  them  told  was  among  the  most 
interesting  I  ever  heard. 

The  man  was  a  carpenter ;  he  had  worked  for  three 
months  in  Sze-Chuan  in  the  house  of  a  missionary, 
and  had  a  copy  of  the  Gospels  given  to  him  when  he 
went  away.  He  had  also  had  a  certain  amount  of 
instruction  from  the  catechist  who  was  with  the 
missionary.  After  the  instruction  given  him  by  the 
catechist,  he  went  to  his  own  home  several  hundred 
miles  further  west,  and  took  the  Gospels  with  him. 
He  gathered  the  men  together  every  evening,  and 
read  the  Gospels  aloud.  There  was  a  fulfilment  of 
the  promise:  "The  idols  He  shall  utterly  abolish," 
for  many  of  the  idols  of  that  village  had  been 
destroyed  owing  to  the  reading  of  the  simple 
Word.  There  were  only  a  few  men  in  the 
whole  village  who  were  not  in  deed  and  truth 
Christians,  and  my  servant,  who  was  a  very  shrewd 
man,  remarked  how  different  that  village  was  from 
others — that  there  was  no  attempt  to  cheat  and  take 
advantage ;  and  he  said  that  he  did  not  think  he  had 
been  told  one  lie.  They  had  learned  so  much  from 
the  New  Testament  that  they  were  very  anxious  to 
get  a  missionary  to  come  and  give  them  instruction 
and  baptism.  I  told  them  this  was  not  possible.  But 
I  believe  that  those  men,  by  working  at  night  and 
saving  their  money,  and  denying  themselves  the  usual 
amount  of  food,  saved  enough  to  take  them  to  the 
nearest  mission  station,  which  was  far,  far  away, 
where  they  would  receive  the  good  things  for  which 
their  souls  were  yearning. 

She  summed  up  the  events  of  the  journey  to  Mrs. 
Bullock  as  follows : 

My  journey  has  been  much  chequered,  very  in- 
teresting, but  at  times  far  from  pleasant.  I  went 
beyond  the  limits  of  China  proper  into  the  Somo 
country,  and  was  for  three  weeks  in  the  grandest 
scenery  I  ever  saw — Switzerland  and  Kashmir  rolled 
into  one.  My  health  stood  the  hardships  of  Chinese 
travelling  very  well,  but  unfortunately  an  over- 
exertion  in  crossing  a  very  high  mountain  pass  has 


From  a  photograph  by  Mrs.  Bishop. 

1896]  RETURN  VOYAGE  323 

greatly  aggravated  the   heart   disease   from  which  I 
suffered  for  four  years. 

Mrs.  Bishop's  plan  of  return  was  frustrated  by 
contrary  circumstances.  Several  bridges,  on  her 
intended  route,  were  destroyed  in  a  tribal  war,  her 
wretched  coolies  collapsed,  and  the  Man-tze  authorities 
did  their  best  to  baffle  her  intentions  by  refusing 
provisions  for  the  further  journey ;  so  she  was 
compelled  to  return,  rather  disgusted,  to  Chengtu. 
She  writes  to  Miss  Cullen :  "  Much  I  wish  I  were 
out  of  China,  in  which  I  have  spent  altogether  fourteen 
months."  She  left  Chengtu  (May  20)  with  the  mercury 
at  90°,  in  a  small  flat-bottomed  wupan,  with  a  partial 
matting  cover,  drawing  four  inches  of  water.  This 
was  the  beginning  of  a  river  journey  of  2,000  miles, 
"back,"  as  she  says,  "to  bondage."  The  voyage,  by 
Sinfu,  Louchon,  and  Chunking,  was  entirely  propi- 
tious and  delightful — first  through  beautiful  country, 
where  black-and-white  farmhouses  reminded  her  of 
Cheshire,  where  fruit-trees,  mulberries,  bamboos  and 
pines,  and  smooth,  fine  lawns  edged  the  sparkling 
water,  and  the  air  was  scented  by  gardenia  shrubs 
and  the  flowers  of  the  bean.  The  boat  sped  along, 
down-stream,  at  the  rate  of  130  miles  in  17  hours, 
and  in  ten  days  she  reached  the  western-most  of  the 
treaty  ports.  Here,  the  force  and  volume  of  the 
river,  which  had  risen  45  feet  since  she  passed  up, 
was  tremendous,  and,  caught  in  its  torrent,  the  wupan 
descended  at  great  speed.  When  they  reached  the 
rapids,  five  men  pulled  frantically  to  keep  steerage 
way  on  her,  and  they  went  down  like  a  flash,  past 
races  and  whirlpools,  temples  and  grey  cities  on 
heights,  villages,  hills,  and  woodlands,  for  days.  There 
was  no  time  to  take  in  anything.  By  the  end  of 
June  she  reached  Shanghai,  to  find,  to  her  great 


disappointment,  that  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bullock  were  away 
at  Chefoo ;  but  she  spent  some  days  there  with 
Mrs.  Joy,  and  on  June  23  gave  a  brief  account  of 
her  travels  in  Sze-Chuan,  to  an  interviewer  for  the 
North  China  Daily  News,  whose  description  of  her 
is  worth  recording : 

Mrs.  Bishop  [he  says]  is  a  retiring,  soft-voiced 
woman,  whose  silver  hair  is  a  passport  to  respect 
amongst  all  but  a  Chinese  mob,  and  she  has  reached 
a  period  of  life  when  physical  comforts  might  be  fairly 
expected.  But  when  she  begins  to  talk,  selecting  her 
words  with  the  nicest  discrimination,  she  at  once 
exercises  a  sort  of  spell  over  the  listener,  making  him 
feel  the  power  of  her  intellect  and  the  acuteness  of 
her  observing  powers.  Then  we  recognise  that  Mrs. 
Bishop  is  a  wonderful  woman,  possessing  an  unsus- 
pected force  with  which  to  overcome  the  most 
forbidding  obstacles. 

She  wrote  to  Mrs.  Bullock : 

I  am  obliged  to  avoid  all  exertion,  and  to  give  up 
the  idea  of  going  home  by  America.  So  I  purpose  to 
leave  for  Japan  as  soon  as  possible,  and  to  remain  in 
some  mountain  hotel  in  the  north  till  the  cool  season 
begins.  Missionaries  on  going  home  are  often  called 
"returned  empties,"  and  I  feel  myself  one.  I  have  not 
read  a  book  or  seen  a  newspaper  since  January  17. 

Thus  ended  her  Chinese  journeyings.  She  had 
travelled  eight  thousand  miles,  and  spent  fifteen 
months  in  China,  during  three  of  the  most  important 
years  of  modern  Chinese  history,  and  she  was  deeply 
grateful  for  the  keen  and  abiding  interest  in  China,  and 
the  Chinese,  which  she  had  acquired,  along  with  new 
views  of  the  country  and  of  the  resourcefulness  and 
energy,  capacities  and  backbone  of  its  inhabitants. 
She  was  much  impressed  with  the  terrible  and 
growing  extension  of  poppy  culture  and  the  opium 
habit,  and  came  to  believe  that  even  moderate  opium 
smoking  involves  enormous  risks,  and  that  excessive 

I896]  WESTERN   LEAVEN  325 

smoking  brings  in  its  train  such  ruin  and  deterioration 
as  to  threaten  the  national  well-being  and  the  physical 
future  of  the  race.  Nevertheless,  she  did  not  believe 
that  China  was  then  breaking  up  or  in  decay. 
Officialism  was,  she  says,  corrupt ;  but  the  people 
were  straight  and  the  country  growing  wealthier 
every  day.  On  the  whole,  peace,  order,  and  prosperity 
prevailed,  and  the  Chinese  were  "  practically  one  of 
the  freest  and  most  democratic  people  on  earth."  The 
war  with  Japan  had  produced  a  remarkable  effect,  in 
opening  the  eyes  of  the  Chinese  to  the  advantages 
accruing,  to  a  yellow  nation,  from  the  adoption  of 
Western  civilisation.  The  Western  leaven,  she  felt, 
was  beginning  to  work,  and  China  was  on  the  eve  of 
a  great  awakening,  of  which,  however,  the  result  was 
still  uncertain.  She  believed  that  Christianity  might 
bring  about  the  regeneration  of  China ;  but  she  thought 
that,  if  Christian  nations  failed  to  take  advantage  of  the 
promising  opportunity  and  did  not  enter  in  force  with 
an  army  of  teachers,  China  might  accept  civilisation 
and  reject  the  Christian  religion. 
To  Mr.  Murray  she  writes : 

I  have  seen  nothing  to  change  my  opinion  that 
medical  missions  are  the  most  effective  pioneers  of 
Christianity.  .  .  .  Mrs.  Murray  will  be  interested  to 
hear  that  owing  to  the  low  price  of  silver,  which  at 
once  doubles  one's  income,  and  the  literally  boundless 
hospitality  I  have  met  with,  I  have  been  able  to  build 
three  hospitals  containing  altogether  160  beds — one 
under  Bishop  Corfe  at  Seoul ;  another  under  Bishop 
Cassels  at  Paoning-fu,  Sze-Chuan;  another  at  Chow-fu; 
and  an  orphanage  for  twenty-five  earthquake  orphans 
at  Tokyo,  under  Bishop  Bickersteth.  These  are 
memorials  of  my  husband,  my  parents,  and  my  sister, 
and  you  can  imagine  the  pleasure  they  give  me. 

On  June  27  Mrs.  Bishop  left  Shanghai  for  Japan. 
She  was  in  Tokyo  by  July  4,  and  was  warmly 

326  THE  CHANGING  EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

welcomed  by  Bishop  and  Mrs.  Bickersteth.  She 
wrote :  "  The  Bishop  is  sadly  out  of  health.  The 
climate  of  Japan  takes  the  life  out  of  most  English 
people."  But  she  continues :  "  The  Japanese  are 
always  delightful,  and  after  the  Chinese  they  seem 
little  short  of  angels." 

Here  she  rested  ten  days  and  "  fadded  with  photo- 
graphs," as  she  called  it.  About  sixty,  of  the  two 
hundred  taken  in  China,  had  been  developed  in 
Shanghai ;  but  the  edges  of  some  of  her  films  were 
affected  by  the  fierce  heat  of  Central  China.  However, 
she  rescued  the  greater  number,  and  her  advance  in 
the  art  is  evidenced  by  the  beautiful  illustrations  of 
The  Yangtze  Valley  and  Beyond. 

On  the  day  after  her  arrival,  Sir  Ernest  Satow  came 
to  see  her,  and  asked  her  to  pay  him  a  visit  at  his 
delightful  summer  residence  on  the  lake  of  Chusenji. 
She  accepted  his  invitation  for  part  of  August  and 
September ;  but  adhered  to  her  plan  of  first  trying 
the  neighbouring  sulphur-baths  at  Yumoto.  She 
went  thither  on  July  15,  stopping  at  Namma  Shin- 
juro's  inn  till  August  i,  when  she  took  a  kuruma 
to  Shobunotaki,  to  meet  Sir  Ernest  Satow  and  Mr. 
Lowther,  who  rowed  her  to  Chusenji.  On  August  16 
she  writes  to  Miss  Cullen : 

The  lines  have  fallen  to  me  in  pleasant  places  this 
summer ;  and  after  toil,  risk,  and  hardship,  I  am  leading 
a  quiet,  serene  life,  in  scenery  absolutely  lovely,  in  a 
little  Japanese  house,  where  everything  goes  like 
clockwork — but  without  the  tick — with  hours  of  quiet 
every  day  and  most  charming  companionship,  intel- 
lectually and  spiritually  elevating.  The  great  forest 
without  paths  stretches  all  round  and  up  to  the  cottage, 
clothing  the  mountains,  which  rise  to  a  height  of 
8,000  feet.  It  does  not  sound  more  ideal  than  it  is, 
and  I  am  unspeakably  thankful  for  this  serene  time  of 
rest.  Sir  Ernest  and  I  are  great  friends  now  and  have 


From  a  photograph   bv  Mrs.   Bishop. 

1896]  CHUSENJI  327 

been  for  some  time ;  but  we  did  not  always  get  on 
together — far  from  it !  Here  I  don't  appear  till  i ;  I 
go  back  to  my  balcony  about  2.30.  We  have  open-air 
tea  at  5.  Then  we  row  on  the  lake  till  about  6.30. 
Then  I  go  to  my  room  till  dinner  at  8,  after  which  we 
talk  on  the  verandah  till  about  10.  I  work  about  four 
hours  daily  at  my  Korean  book.  I  have  worked  very 
hard  at  printing  sixty  of  my  negatives  to  send  to 
Tokyo  to  be  collotyped,  and  I  hope  to  be  able  to  sell 
them  for  the  Paonmg-fu  medical  mission  at  ten  or 
twelve  shillings  per  volume,  fifty  or  more  in  it. 

The  Rev.  Lionel  Cholmondeley  writes  the  following 
reminiscences  of  her  stay  at  Chusenji : 

From  the  middle  of  August  to  the  middle  of  Sep- 
tember, in  the  year  1896,  I  was  the  guest  of  Sir  Ernest 
Satow,  then  British  Minister  in  Japan,  in  a  little  semi- 
Japanese  house  which  he  had  built  for  himself  on  the 
Lake  Chusenji,  seven  miles  above  Nikko.  Some  three 
miles  beyond  Chusenji,  where  the  mountains  close  in 
and  make  further  progress  for  the  traveller  impossible, 
is  another  smaller  lake  called  Yumoto,  with  a  village 
of  a  few  houses  built  on  its  side  and  a  fairly  good 
Japanese  hotel,  in  which  a  foreign  visitor  can  find  most 
of  his  wants  supplied.  Mrs.  Bishop  had  established 
herself  in  this  hotel,  and  came  from  it  one  afternoon  to 
stay  at  Chusenji.  The  only  other  member  of  our  party 
was  Mr.  Harold  Parlett,  one  of  the  consular  secretaries 
in  Tokyo.  The  house  stood  some  little  way  back  from 
the  lake,  a  site  having  been  cleared  for  it  on  the 
wooded  slope.  The  space  between  the  house-front 
and  the  lake  had  been  levelled  up,  forming  something 
of  a  terrace  flanked  by  a  substantial  stone  facing.  The 
footpath  that  previously  wound  round  the  lake  had 
been  diverted  to  run  at  the  back  of  this  little  newly 
enclosed  estate.  We  were  a  considerable  distance 
from  the  village,  which  was  most  easily  reached  by 
boat.  A  band  of  workmen  under  a  gardener  from 
Tokyo  were  engaged  in  making  a  rockery,  and  putting 
the  grounds  in  order. 

Mrs.  Bishop  was  fond  of  rowing,  which  was  our 
chief  outdoor  recreation,  and  would  often  take  an  oar. 
Dinner— as  everywhere — was  the  most  sociable  meal ; 
and  during  dinner  and  after  it,  when  we  sat  round  the 

328  THE   CHANGING   EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

fire,  the  conversation  was  exceedingly  entertaining. 
Japan  and  the  Japanese  formed  a  fruitful  topic,  and 
the  other  nations  of  the  East.  At  another  time  we 
would  get  on  to  the  subject  of  literature,  and  I 
remember  when  Lord  Beaconsfield's  novels  came  up 
for  discussion,  that  Mrs.  Bishop  strongly  recommended 
me  to  read  Tancred.  Mrs.  Bishop  appreciated  books  in 
which  the  soul  of  the  writer  evidently  revealed  itself, 
and  she  had  been  greatly  struck  by  a  little  book  called 
Why  I  became  a  Christian,  written  in  fascinating 
Japanese-English  by  a  certain  Uchimura  Kanzo. 

But  now  I  must  pass  on  to  relate  the  eventful 
experience  which  befell  us.  Sir  Ernest  was  called 
away  on  business  to  Tokyo,  and  was  to  be  absent  for 
two  nights.  Bad  weather  had  probably  set  in  before 
he  left  us;  but  however  that  may  be,  a  typhoon  of 
unusual  violence  swept  over  the  central  provinces 
of  Japan  soon  after  his  departure.  The  down-rush  of 
the  rain  at  Chusenji  was  tremendous,  and  the  storm 
of  the  night  seemed  only  to  increase  in  fury  during  the 
day.  In  our  sequestered  house  on  the  lake,  we  were 
cut  off  from  all  intercourse  with  the  outside  world ; 
and  for  a  whole  day,  at  least,  Mrs.  Bishop,  Mr.  Parlett, 
and  I  resigned  ourselves  to  our  comfortable  imprison- 

But  it  proved  to  be  no  case  of  one  day.  As  a  con- 
sequence of  the  heavy  rainfall,  the  lake  had  risen 
abnormally.  Houses  nearer  to  the  lake,  and  not  so 
well  protected  as  our  own,  had  been  flooded,  and 
much  damage  and  loss  of  property  had  been  incurred. 
While  protected  by  our  stone-faced  embankment  from 
the  inrush  of  the  waters,  the  lake  had  risen  on  either 
side  of  us  to  so  great  an  extent  that  any  passage  round 
it,  either  to  the  right  or  to  the  left,  was  impossible, 
and  equally  impossible  was  it  to  force  our  way  for  any 
distance  through  the  tangled,  never-trodden  woods, 
with  all  the  bars  to  progress  of  torrent,  course,  and 
rocks.  One  enterprising  boy  from  the  village,  with 
a  bamboo  basket  strapped  over  his  shoulder,  contrived 
by  some  means  to  get  to  us  most  days.  We  christened 
him  "  Ubiquity,"  and  Mrs.  Bishop  took  a  photograph 
of  him.  Mr.  Parlett  and  I  used  to  roll  up  our  flannels 
and  wade  through  the  water  with  our  fishing-rods. 
We  caught  some  fair-sized  fish,  mostly  under  the 
shelter  of  the  boat-house;  but  it  was  some  time  ere 

1896]  RETURN  TO  SEOUL  329 

we  could  release  the  boat.  A  break  on  the  railway 
and  various  landslips  on  the  ascent  from  Nikko  long 
delayed  our  host's  return.  Thus  our  little  party  of 
three  were  thrown  on  the  society  of  one  another  for 
the  greater  part  of  a  week,  and  through  these  mishaps 
it  was  my  good  fortune  to  come  to  know  Mrs.  Bishop 
far  more  intimately  than  I  should  otherwise  have 
done.  Our  friendship  was  strengthened  by  the  fact 
that  my  home  at  Adlestrop  is  only  a  few  miles  from 
Barton,  which  was  formerly  the  property  of  the  Birds, 
and  of  which,  in  my  early  days,  my  great-uncle  General 
Colvile  was  tenant. 

Naturally  our  conversation  often  turned  on  missions, 
and  Mrs.  Bishop  entered  with  great  sympathy  into  my 
account  of  my  own  work,  especially  among  young 
men.  At  that  time  I  was  much  exercised  in  my  mind 
about  finding  myself  a  house  nearer  to  my  church  in 
Tokyo,  and,  with  her  characteristic  generosity,  she 
offered  me  500  yen,  if  that  would  help  me.  My  real 
acquaintance  with  her  began  and  ended  in  those 
pleasant  and  eventful  days  spent  in  Sir  Ernest  Satow's 
house  on  Chusenji  Lake. 

Some  letters  to  Mr.  Murray  refer  to  the  progress 
of  her  book  on  Korea,  and  intimate  her  intention 
of  returning  to  Seoul  for  final  impressions  and 
information.  She  left,  therefore,  for  this  purpose  in 
October,  and  writes  again,  en  route^  to  Mr.  Murray 
(October  19): 

Even  quiet  and  mountain-air  have  failed  to  set  me 
up,  and  hurry,  over-fatigue  of  a  social  kind,  and  that 
pest  of  ordinary  life — the  attempt,  often  fruitless,  to 
make  things  fit  in — have  produced  attacks  of  nervous 
exhaustion  and  partial  failure  of  the  heart,  from  which 
I  never  suffer  even  when  enduring  the  ofttimes  severe 
hardships  and  fatigues  of  the  quiet  open-air  life  of  a 
traveller.  Hence  my  Korean  book  has  not  advanced 
as  it  ought  to  have  done.  I  am  now  on  my  way  to 
Korea  for  some  weeks,  to  be  divided  between  Mr. 
Hillier,  the  Consul-General,  and  Mr.  McLeavy  Brown, 
of  our  Diplomatic  Service  at  Peking,  Commissioner 
of  Customs,  and  now  Financial  Adviser  and  Treasurer 
of  Korea.  From  both  I  shall  receive  very  valuable 

330  THE   CHANGING   EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

help  in  the  revision  of  what  I  have  already  written 
and  in  the  correction  of  the  notes  of  what  is  yet 
unwritten.  I  greatly  regret  that  I  could  not  (and 
for  good  reasons)  write  letters  as  on  former  journeys. 
Even  had  I  not  used  them  as  such,  there  is  a  vividness 
about  letters  not  attainable  by  another  descriptive 

It  is  this  year  forty  years  since  Mr.  Murray  published 
my  first  book!  There  could  not  have  been  happier 
relations  between  author  and  publisher  than  those 
between  your  dear  father  and  myself,  and  these  have 
continued  unbroken  to  this  day.  I  have  not  yet 
recovered  from  the  tremendous  blow  I  received  from 
a  stone  near  Mien-Chou. 

Mrs.  Bishop  reached  Seoul  October  23,  and,  at 
first,  her  health  rallied  in  the  dry,  bracing  air ;  but  the 
improvement  was  only  partial,  and  her  inability  to 
proceed  to  Chemulpo,  either  on  horseback  or  in  a 
jinrikisha,  kept  her  there  so  long  that  it  was  from 
Seoul  that  she  sent  out  the  New  Year's  card  on 
which  she  quotes  the  ancient  Persian  proverb  of 
"  Three  things  that  never  return  "  : 

The  Spent  Arrow, 
The  Spoken  Word, 
The  Lost  Opportunity. 

But  Mrs.  Bishop  found  plenty  to  interest  her  in 
local  politics.  During  the  nine  months  that  she  had 
been  absent  the  situation  had  not  improved  in  Korea. 
The  confusion  had  increased  and  the  King,  reduced  to 
the  position  of  a  "  salaried  automaton,"  in  his  despera- 
tion appealed  to  the  Russian  representative  to  protect 
him  from  a  terrorism  which  might  well  have  cowed 
a  braver  man.  He  fled  to  the  Russian  Embassy  for 
protection,  which  was  accorded  him ;  and  then,  finding 
himself  personally  safe  and  free  from  all  control  and 
the  ascendancy  of  Japan,  he  reverted  to  some  of  the 
worst  traditions  of  his  dynasty.  The  Russian  Minister — 

i897]    BEHIND  THE  SCENES  IN   KOREA     331 

acting,  probably,  on  orders  from  home  to  give  Korea 
"  rope  enough  to  hang  herself,"  and  thus  justify  active 
interference  on  Russia's  part — abstained  from  offering 
the  guidance  which  the  King  would  undoubtedly  have 
accepted ;  all  the  old  abuses  soon  cropped  up,  and 
the  internal  administration  was  in  a  state  of  chaos. 
That  Mrs.  Bishop  did  not  regret  her  detention  in 
Seoul,  a  letter  to  Mr.  Murray  (January  23, 1897)  shows : 

I  have  very  greatly  enjoyed  this  three  months  on  a 
visit  to  my  friend  Mr.  McLeavy  Brown,  now,  by  a 
strange  set  of  circumstances,  practically  dictator  of 
the  kingdom.  The  fascination  of  being  behind  the 
scenes  in  an  Oriental  kingdom  is  great,  and  it  has 
been  a  matter  of  very  deep  interest  to  watch  the 
slow  unfolding  of  Russian  policy,  of  which  it  is 
impossible  to  doubt  that  the  Foreign  Office  is  entirely 
unaware,  and  will  only  become  aware  when  it  is  too 
late  to  check  it.  ...  All  my  baggage,  including 
a  great  Korean  chest,  has  gone  to  Chemulpo  on  the 
back  of  a  huge  bull,  and,  as  I  gave  a  farewell  reception 
yesterday,  and  have  a  farewell  audience  of  the  ICing 
to-day,  I  seem  to  have  a  little  leisure  before  starting 
on  my  homeward  journey  to-morrow,  the  first  far 
three  months.  This  is  the  end  of  six  months  in  Seoul 
and  eleven  in  Korea.  I  have  so  many  friends  and 
interests  here,  and  have  met  with  such  extraordinary 
kindness,  that  I  feel  very  loath  to  leave  it.  Indeed  I 
am  returning  to  England  with  a  very  bad  grace.  I  am 
far  more  at  home  in  Tokyo  and  Seoul  than  in  any 
place  in  Britain  except  Tobermory,  and  I  very  much 
prefer  life  in  the  East  to  life  at  home. 

I  have  been  working  at  my  book  under  excellent 
auspices,  and  have  received  most  liberal  help  from  the 
English  and  Russian  Ministers  and  the  Chief  Com- 
missioner of  Customs,  who,  with  many  others,  are 
anxious  that  I  should  make  it  a  book  which  shall  take 
its  place  as  the  book  on  Korea  for  some  years  to  come. 
I  am  trying  to  do  this,  as  all  the  existing  books  have 
become  obsolete  owing  to  the  changes  the  last  year 
has  made.  It  is  a  compound  of  journeys,  chapters 
on  a  few  salient  Korean  subjects,  and  two  chapters 
sketching  the  changes  which  have  been  made,  and 

332  THE  CHANGING  EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

things  as  they  now  are  in  the  capital.  Among  the 
travel-chapters  are  two  on  Chinese  and  Russian 
Manchuria,  the  last  of  which  has  been  three  times 
delivered  as  a  lecture  at  the  club  in  Seoul,  the  Russian 
Minister,  Mr.  Waeber,  presiding.  He  has  drawn  for  me 
three  maps,  one  being  a  route-map  in  Central  Korea. 

And  so  Mrs.  Bishop  left  Korea,  with,  she  says, 
"  Russia  and  Japan  facing  each  other  across  her 
destinies."  She  saw  the  last  of  Seoul  in  snow— in  the 
blue  and  violet  atmosphere  of  one  of  the  loveliest  of 
winter  mornings — with  real  regret,  for  the  dislike  she 
felt  for  the  country,  at  first,  had  passed  into  an  interest 
which  was  almost  affection,  and  on  no  previous 
journey  had  she  made  dearer  or  kinder  friends. 

She  crossed  in  a  bitter  wind  from  Chemulpo  to 
Shanghai,  and  there  she  halted,  for  a  week,  before 
starting  on  her  homeward  voyage.  On  the  last  day 
of  January,  1897,  she  sailed,  reached  Colombo  on 
February  20  and  Malta  on  March  10.  This  long 
voyage  rested  her ;  she  set  aside  all  hard  work,  and 
sewed,  played  chess,  printed  photographs,  and  read 
Pastor  Pastorum,  The  Sowers,  and  Held  in  Bondage. 

On  reaching  London  (March  19)  Mrs.  Bishop  entered 
in  her  diary  a  fervent  "  Dei  Gratiae,  three  years  and 
two  months."  She  settled  herself  in  rooms  in  Hill 
Street,  found  for  her  by  Mrs.  Bowman,  and  here, 
except  for  some  brief  visits,  she  remained  until  the 
middle  of  July.  Her  days  were  fully  occupied,  and 
she  spent  much  time  in  the  library  of  the  Royal 
Geographical  Society ;  for,  besides  working  at  her 
book,  Korea  and  her  Neighbours,  which  she  discussed 
in  many  interviews  with  Mr.  Murray,  she  was  lecturing, 
and  also  bringing  out  papers  on  Korea — some  illus- 
trated—in the  St.  James's  Gazette and  St.  James's  Budget. 

The  Japanese  victories  in  China  had  roused  a  new 
interest  in  the  Far  East ;  Korea  was  dawning  on  the 

,897]  WORK  AT  KOREA  333 

Western  mind,  and  the  time  was  ripening  for  fuller 
information.  Mrs.  Bishop's  book,  though  eagerly 
awaited,  was  delayed,  for  the  situation  in  the  East 
changed  every  week  and  rendered  obsolete  many 
of  her  carefully  collected  statistics.  Besides,  the 
burden  of  this  undertaking  weighed  upon  her  more 
heavily  than  that  of  any  previous  book;  revision 
became  positively  distasteful,  and  perhaps  the  blow 
on  her  head,  received  in  China,  had  made  her 
susceptible  to  brain-fag.  She  refused  to  believe  that 
Korea  could  interest  her  readers,  and  it  is  possible 
that  intense  weariness  of  the  subject  gave  rise  to 
dilatoriness.  Nevertheless,  by  April  20  a  considerable 
part  of  her  manuscript  was  in  Mr.  Murray's  hands, 
and  she  writes  to  him  : 

All  your  suggestions  are  helpful.  I  am  very  much 
relieved,  for  I  had  passed  a  far  severer  criticism  on 
the  book  myself,  feeling  that  no  amount  of  effort  can 
make  a  volume  on  Korea  attractive. 

Several  chapters  remained  to  be  written,  but  were 
held  over,  as  she  was  somewhat  unwillingly  engaged 
to  lecture,  for  the  Royal  Geographical  Society,  upon 
Western  China  and  the  mountains  which  form  its 
frontier  towards  Tibet.  The  day  of  the  lecture  (May  10) 
proved  a  very  busy  one :  at  3.30  she  addressed  the 
"  Bible  Lands  Mission "  in  Exeter  Hall ;  at  7  she 
dined  by  invitation  at  the  Geographical  Club ;  at 
8.30  she  gave  her  lecture,  illustrated  by  forty-five 
lantern  slides  and  by  two  hundred  of  her  photographs, 
which  were  exhibited  on  the  screens  in  the  room. 
Next  day  she  attended  the  Queen's  Drawing-room 
and  spoke  for  the  Church  Missionary  Society  in 
St.  James's  Hall  in  the  evening. 

A  short  visit  to  Edinburgh,  for  Assembly  addresses, 
occurred  after  this,  and  then  she  returned  to  28  Hill 

334  THE   CHANGING  EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

Street,  and  was  able,  for  two  months,  to  devote 
herself  to  more  or  less  constant  work  at  her  book. 
But  the  increase  of  her  public  engagements  in  London 
made  it  desirable  that  she  should  have  a  home  in 
the  south,  and,  after  much  house-hunting,  she  took  a 
short  lease  of  20  Earl's  Terrace,  opposite  Holland  Park 
and  standing  back  a  short  distance  from  the  noisy 
Hammersmith  Road.  For  about  three  weeks,  while 
painters  and  paperers  were  in  possession,  she  rested 
quietly  at  the  Elms,  Houghton,  with  Mrs.  Brown, 
and,  returning  to  London  on  August  5,  she,  with  the 
assistance  of  an  old  servant  whom  she  called  "the 
Dragon,"  devoted  herself  to  furnishing  her  house. 
When  their  toils  were  at  an  end,  and  her  house  was 
habitable,  she  was  free  to  leave  for  a  series  of  visits 
and  missionary  addresses,  reaching  as  far  north  as 
Berwick  and  as  far  south  as  Exeter. 

From  this  time  forward,  Mrs.  Bishop  devoted  her 
time  and  energies,  more  unsparingly  than  ever,  to  the 
exhausting  task  of  advocating  the  missionary  cause,  in 
any  corner  of  England  where  her  help  was  desired. 
It  is  a  matter  of  common  knowledge  that  she  soon 
acquired  a  well-deserved  reputation  as  a  most  capable 
and  impressive  platform  speaker,  and  this  was,  Miss 
Gertrude  Kinnaird  considers,  because  three  character- 
istics, essential  to  sincere  public  utterance  on  this 
difficult  topic,  were  hers  in  a  marked  degree  :  "  (a)  a 
deep  feeling  of  her  own  responsibility  and  of  the 
responsibility  of  those  whom  she  addressed  ;  (b)  a 
great  yearning  pity  for  the  people  in  non-Christian 
lands,  whom  she  brought  so  graphically  before 
the  eyes  of  her  audience  that  they  seemed  to  go 
down  with  them  into  the  darkness,  and  to  feel  the 
helplessness  of  their  position;  and  (c)  a  strong 
belief  in  the  power  of  the  Gospel  to  lift  them  up 

,897]  MISSIONARY  WORK  335 

out  of  darkness  and  to  give  them  a  new  life  here 
and  now." 

The  attitude  which  she  so  well  maintained,  of  a 
traveller  and  of  a  single-minded,  impartial  observer — 
not  blind  to  the  blunders  or  mistakes  of  zealous  but 
inexperienced  pioneers,  groping  their  way  courageously 
and  gallantly  along  fresh  and  untried  paths — and  her 
obviously  simple  and  earnest  sincerity,  her  wide 
experience,  deep  insight,  and  mellow  wisdom,  were 
all  rendered  effective  by  her  natural  gifts  as  a  fluent 
and  sympathetic  speaker.  This  combination  made 
her  singularly  fitted  to  appeal,  as  she  hoped  to 
do,  to  that  large  public  whose  slow  response  to 
the  missionary  claim  is  due  to  intellectual  fastidious- 
ness, and  to  a  well-balanced  distaste  for  anything 
that  is  either  dull  and  stupid,  or  that  is,  on  the 
other  hand,  tinged  with  a  blind  enthusiasm,  splendidly 
zealous,  but  rather  of  the  heart  than  the  head.  At 
the  same  time  her  command  of  well-chosen  language, 
her  sympathetic  insight,  and  grasp  of  detail  enabled 
her  to  place  vividly,  before  the  old  supporters  of  the 
cause,  new  aspects  of  the  work  with  which  they  had 
been  so  long  familiar. 

Mrs.  Bishop,  however,  did  not  confine  herself  to 
deepening  the  zeal  of  those  who  already  glowed 
with  the  fire  which  burned  in  her  own  soul,  nor 
to  winning  over  people  whose  critical  faculties  had 
so  far  held  them  aloof.  But,  being  admitted  into 
the  inner  councils  of  those  in  whose  hands  lay 
the  ultimate  responsibility  for  operations  in  the 
mission  field,  she  placed  at  their  disposal  both  her 
unrivalled  trained  power  of  grasping  local  peculiarities, 
and  her  critical  wisdom.  In  this  way  she  helped 
.them — by  making  all  her  just  criticisms  their  own — 
to  turn  to  account  any  past  blunders  that  gave 


rise  to  legitimately  adverse  comment,  or  that  marred 
the  effectiveness  of  the  work,  and  thus  she  enabled 
them  to  attain  a  wider,  truer  outlook,  and  to  tread, 
with  more  efficiency  than  before,  the  difficult  but 
Christ-like  path  which  lay  before  them. 

Mr.  Eugene  Stock  says  that  after  her  return  from 
China,  she  had  long  interviews  with  the  Church  Mis- 
sionary Society  Secretaries,  in  which  she  showed  the 
warmest  sympathy  and  appreciation  for  the  work  as  a 
whole,  but  pointed  out  quite  frankly  what,  here  and 
there,  appeared  to  her  to  be  flaws  in  their  methods. 
She  also,  he  states,  gave  important  advice  bearing  upon 
the  work  of  English  women  in  the  China  Missions, 
where  women's  work  was  beset  with  special  difficulties 
and  required  regulating  with  the  most  scrupulous 
carefulness,  in  order  to  prevent  those  unnecessary 
hindrances  to  the  work  due  to  ignorance  and  in- 
experience, or  to  self-conceit  and  self-will.  Chinese 
etiquette,  as  to  what  is  seemly  for  a  woman,  though 
tiresome,  certainly  tended,  she  felt,  to  propriety,  and 
no  young  foreign  woman  could  violate  its  rules 
without  injury  to  her  work.  She  knew  that,  in  one 
province,  the  violations  of  etiquette,  by  some  of  the 
lady  missionaries,  had  been  regarded  as  so  likely  to 
lead  to  an  outbreak  that  the  attention  of  the  Foreign 
Office  had  been  called  to  the  matter.  But,  while  she 
laid  great  stress  upon  the  importance  of  wisdom  and 
discretion  on  the  part  of  all  missionaries,  and  more 
especially  on  the  part  of  women,  and  while  she  valued 
highly  the  services  of  the  educated  ladies  on  the 
Society's  staff,  she  nevertheless  bore  strong  testimony 
to  the  good  work  done  in  the  far  interior,  by  women 
missionaries  springing  from  the  humbler  social  grades. 
One  whom  she  specially  commended  for  wisdom  and 
earnestness — who  afterwards  died  of  small-pox,  caught 


in  nursing  a  Chinese  woman— was  originally  a  factory 
hand  at  Blackburn. 

Mrs.  Bishop,  however,  did  not  agree  with  the  critics 
of  the  treaty  ports  who  think  it  unwise  for  English 
women  to  live  at  remote  stations  where  there  are  no 
English  men.  On  the  contrary,  she  thought  that  two 
women,  not  under  thirty  years  of  age,  who  had 
experience  of  Chinese  customs  and  language,  might 
wisely  and  safely  occupy  a  station  where  there  were 
no  other  Europeans,  provided  they  always  had  with 
them  a  senior  Chinese  woman.  She  urged  the 
inexpediency  of  sending  out  fiancees  to  be  married  at 
once  to  missionaries  in  China,  as  the  young  wife's 
ignorance  of  the  people  subjected  her  to  many 
inconveniences,  and  interfered  with  her  husband's 
efficiency.  She  thought  that  such  fiancees  should  be 
a  year  or  two  in  China,  living  with  senior  missionaries, 
to  study  the  language  and  customs  of  the  land, 
before  marriage.  She  praised  the  arrangement  of 
the  China  Inland  Mission  which  secures  this,  while 
recognising  the  greater  difficulty  experienced  by  the 
Church  Missionary  Society  in  adopting  the  plan, 
owing  to  its  missionaries  being  in  provinces  where 
different  languages  and  dialects  are  spoken,  so  that 
a  fiancee  cannot  easily  be  placed  very  far  distant 
from  the  missionary  she  is  engaged  to,  although 
such  distance  is  highly  desirable  in  view  of  the 
Chinese  feeling  of  propriety  with  regard  to  betrothed 

When  speaking  on  the  subject  of  women's  dress  in 
China  she  strongly  objected  to  the  European  dress 
customary  at  treaty  ports,  which  the  Chinese  regard 
as  scandalous.  She  much  desired  that  all  lady 
missionaries  would  follow  the  example  of  those  of 
the  China  Inland  Mission,  and  adopt  Chinese  costume, 


338  THE  CHANGING  EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

"  the  only  Oriental  dress  which  Europeans  can  wear 
with  seemliness  and  dignity."  Speaking  at  meetings  at 
Bristol  in  1900,  Mrs.  Bishop  mentions  this  "  distaste 
of  Orientals  for  the  Western  garb,  and  the  foreign 
flavour  with  which  Christianity  is  presented"  as  an 
unfortunately  little  recognised  difficulty  in  the  way 
of  the  spread  of  Christianity.  She  says : 

It  is  not  alone  that  it  comes,  as  they  think,  to  subvert 
their  social  order,  corrupt  the  morals  of  their  women, 
destroy  their  reverence  for  parents,  old  age,  and 
ancestors,  and  to  introduce  new  and  hateful  customs ; 
but  its  ideas  have  a  Western  dress,  its  phraseology  is 
foreign,  and  the  pictures  with  which  it  illustrates  its 
teaching  are  foreign,  indecorous  in  costume  and  pose, 
and  odious,  so  much  so,  that  in  the  Hang  Chow 
Medical  Mission  Hospital  it  was  found  desirable  to 
take  them  down,  to  avoid  the  blasphemous  and 
unseemly  criticisms  which  were  made  upon  them, 
and  to  present  our  Lord  and  His  Apostles  in  Chinese 
dress  and  surroundings. 

Many  stumbling-blocks,  she  felt,  must  be  cleared 
away,  and  many  difficult  questions  solved,  if  Christi- 
anity is  not  to  be  a  precarious  exotic  in  the  East. 
She  was  convinced  it  was  of  great  importance  that 
Christianity  should  ally  itself  with  all  that  was  not 
evil  in  the  national  life,  that  it  should  uphold  native 
nationality,  that  it  should  incorporate  native  methods 
of  instruction  with  our  own,  and  conserve  all  customs 
which  are  not  contrary  to  its  spirit.  "  Already,"  she 
said,  "many  Oriental  Christians  are  claiming  with 
earnest  voices  an  Oriental  Christ  instead  of  a  Christ 
disguised  in  Western  garb." 

Only  by  native  agency,  under  foreign  instruction 
and  guiding,  would,  she  believed,  Christianity  really 
leaven  the  Eastern  races.  The  native  teacher,  she  said, 
knows  his  countrymen  and  what  will  appeal  to  them, 

i897]         S.P.G.  WOMEN'S  COMMITTEE          339 

how  to  make  points,  how  to  clinch  an  argument  by  a 
popular  quotation  from  their  own  classics.  He  pre- 
sents Christianity  without  the  Western  flavour. 

Among  the  many  difficult  questions  to  be  faced  and 
solved  are  such  as  that  of  the  English  Prayer  Book. 
Could,  she  asked,  our  Prayer  Book,  so  intensely 
Western  in  its  style  and  conceptions,  metaphysics 
and  language  of  adoration,  and  its  ideas,  many  of 
them  so  unthinkable  to  the  Eastern  mind,  remain  the 
only  manual  of  public  devotion? 

That  Mrs.  Bishop's  ready  help,  in  the  solution  of  the 
problems  inherent  in  the  work,  was  thoroughly  appre- 
ciated by  those  to  whose  councils  she  brought  the 
stores  of  her  wisdom  and  earnestness,  their  own 
testimony  bears  witness. 

Mrs.  Edward  Bickersteth  writes : 

When  we  had  the  pleasure  of  welcoming  Mrs.  Bishop 
to  our  S.P.G.  Women's  Committee  as  a  Vice-President, 
it  interested  me  much  to  see  the  way  in  which  she 
turned  to  uses  of  practical  help  and  counsel  the  know- 
ledge she  had  gained  in  her  many  years  of  travel. 
When  in  London  she  was  a  constant  attendant  at  our 
meetings,  and  she  took  special  delight  in  those  of  our 
Candidates'  Committee,  where  her  insight  into  char- 
acter and  ready  sympathy  gave  her  special  power. 
More  than  one  candidate  has  been  surprised  to  learn 
that  the  gentle,  quiet  voice  which  gave  her  homely 
hints  as  to  care  of  health,  or  sympathetic  encourage- 
ment in  her  shyness,  was  that  of  the  great  traveller 
and  distinguished  authoress.  And  here  again  her 
deep  spirituality  was  manifest.  When  as  Hon.  Secre- 
tary for  Women  Candidates  I  went  to  her  for  advice  I 
knew  that  every  question  would  be  approached  from 
the  highest  standpoint. 

Two  fellow  members  of  Committee,  Miss  Lucy 
Phillimore  (Vice-President),  and  Miss  C.  G.  Bunyon, 
have  kindly  sent  recollections  of  Mrs.  Bishop. 

340  THE  CHANGING  EAST        [CHAP,  xm 

Miss  L.  Phillimore  says  : 

I  knew  her  only  on  the  General  Committee,  where 
she  came  early  and  stayed  to  the  end  of  the  business, 
following  the  discussions  with  great  attention,  not 
often  speaking  unless  appealed  to,  and  then  quietly 
giving  advice  founded  on  her  personal  and  local  know- 
ledge of  the  place.  I  was  much  struck  by  this  over 
the  question  of  Miss  Weston's  House  at  Tokyo,  when 
Mrs.  Bishop  described  the  situation  of  Count  Arina's 
house  (the  building  desired)  with  the  fulness  of  detail 
and  minute  knowledge  with  which  one  would  describe 
the  most  familiar  corner  of  London.  Again,  in  the 
question  of  the  marriage  or  marriage  engagements  of 
missionaries,  she  gave  the  Committee  advice  based 
on  her  knowledge  of  the  aspect  in  which  marriage 
appeared  to  the  native  mind,  and  the  etiquette  with 
which  it  was  fenced  round,  a  knowledge  which  was 
peculiarly  her  own. 

Miss  Bunyon  adds : 

From  her  first  appearance  at  the  monthly  meeting 
of  the  Women's  Work  Committee  of  the  S.P.G. 
Mrs.  Bishop  made  her  presence  felt.  On  questions  of 
principle  and  policy  her  low,  quiet  voice  would  give  a 
short  sentence  with  an  authority  which  made  new 
members  of  Committee  ask,  "  Who  is  that  ?  "  On  one 
occasion  two  plans  being  before  the  Committee,  the 
one  having  the  advantage  of  economy  and  saving  of 
time,  and  the  other  carrying  with  it  the  difficulties 
involved  in  building,  she  pressed  with  the  greatest 
earnestness  for  the  ideal  plan  and  the  proper  safe- 
guarding and  housing  of  English  women  missionaries. 
"  You  do  not  know  what  native  dwellings  are,"  she 
urged,  her  whole  being  lighting  with  a  fire  of  con- 
viction. She  brought  to  her  fellow  workers  the 
knowledge  of  the  real  Far  East,  and  gave  them  a 
glimpse  of  what  they  might  learn  from  her. 

Of  course  all  the  missionary  speeches,  and  the 
other  work  to  which  Mrs.  Bishop  felt  impelled  to 
give  her  time,  were  not  conducive  to  the  progress  of 
her  book  on  Korea,  though  all  August  and  September 

1897]  BOOK  ON  KOREA  341 

were  intermittently  occupied  with  revision  of  maps 
and  illustrations ;  and  Sir  Walter  Hillier,  who  was  in 
England,  revised  her  proofs,  supplied  a  preface,  and 
transliterated  the  Korean  proper  names  on  the  basis 
of  a  common  system.  She  also  welcomed  suggestions 
from  Mr.  Murray  and  adopted  them  en  bloc.  On 
October  2,  when  visiting  the  Bishop  of  Exeter,  she 
could  write : 

So  far  as  I  am  concerned,  my  Korean  book  will 
be  finished  on  the  4th.  Sir  Walter  Hillier's  preface 
and  mine  have  been  in  the  printers'  hands  for 
some  days.  Sir  Walter  Hillier's  introduction,  con- 
sidering that  he  occupied  a  high  station  in  Korea  for 
eleven  years,  should  add  some  weight ;  but  as  you  said 
long  ago,  "  it  is  not  a  book  for  the  man  in  the  street." 
I  am  convinced  that  actual  letters  merely  corrected  are 

§the  most  vivid  and  popular  form  of  presenting  one's 
impressions  of  a  country.  For  those  who  do  not  read 
for  amusement,  but  for  information,  I  hope  that  the 
volumes  contain  much  that  is  valuable. 

When  her  book  was  completed  a  second  missionary 
journey  began  (October  6)  which  included  Bourne- 
mouth, Winchester,  Birkenhead,  Birmingham,  and 
fended  (October  25)  at  Manchester,  whence  she  went 
on  to  friends  in  Edinburgh.  Here  one  of  her  first 
cares  was  to  call  at  Messrs.  Clarke's  printing  establish- 
ment. She  found  her  book  was  being  delayed  by  a 
machinists'  strike,  and  that  the  men  imported  from 
London  were  not  up  to  their  work ;  and  writes  to 
Mr.  Murray  (October  29) : 

I  was  at  Clarke's  yesterday.  Things  are  pretty 
bad.  Their  premises  are  mobbed,  and  while  they 
have  cabs  at  the  front  entrance  as  a  blind,  they 
send  the  machinists  away  at  the  back  in  vans 
which  have  brought  paper.  Young  Mr.  Clarke  is 
anxious  to  fight  to  the  bitter  end,  but  I  think  that 
they  will  have  to  give  in.  My  personal  interest  in  it 

342  THE  CHANGING  EAST        [CHAP,  xra 

is  that  I  fear  it  will  delay  the  completion  of  my  book, 
although  the  letter-press  is  done. 

Mrs.  Bishop  opened  the  session  of  the  Scottish 
Geographical  Society  (November  7)  with  her  lecture 
on  "Western  China."  Lord  Lothian  presided,  two 
thousand  people  were  present,  and  her  reception  was 
enthusiastic.  She  repeated  this  lecture  in  Glasgow, 
Dundee,  and  Aberdeen  to  crowded  audiences. 

I  am  delighted  [she  writes]  with  the  kindness  and 
hospitality  of  Aberdeen,  and  spent  one  day  like  a 
summer  day  on  Deeside.  I  have  become  so  used  to 
hearing  myself  called  "  the  distinguished  traveller  and 
explorer  "  that  I  am  beginning  to  think  myself  as  much 
entitled  to  a  medal  as  Mr.  Curzon,  and  to  wonder  that 
my  friends  don't  think  so  too. 

A  missionary  itinerary  in  Scotland  succeeded  these 
lectures,  and,  as  she  wrote  to  Sir  Walter  Hillier,  she 
gave  "  fifty  lectures  and  addresses  before  November  29." 
She  wound  up  her  interrupted  residence  in  Edinburgh 
with  a  lecture  at  the  Literary  Institute  on  the  24th, 
an  afternoon  address  at  the  Free  Church  Hall  on 
the  2/th,  and  another  to  students  on  November  28. 

Then  she  was  released,  and  went  to  Tobermory  to 
rest  two  months  at  The  Cottage.  Her  book  was  still 
delayed,  and  she  felt  anxious  lest  this  should  be  to 
her  disadvantage,  for  events  in  Korea  were  moving 
rapidly.  But  at  last  the  two  volumes  appeared,  on 
January  10,  1898,  and  by  the  nth  2,000  copies  were 
sold.  On  the  same  day  an  edition  was  published  in 

Thank  you  [Mrs.  Bishop  writes  to  Sir  Walter 
Hillier]  for  the  kind  words  about  the  volumes,  which 
are  very  greatly  indebted  to  you  for  much  more  than 
the  preface,  from  which  I  am  glad  to  see  that  the 
reviews  make  copious  extracts.  It  is  a  piece  of 
singular  luck  that  the  book  should  appear  just  now. 

i898j  PUBLICATION   OF  BOOK  343 

It  is  by  no  means  my  best  book,  yet,  owing  to  the 
general  interest,  it  has  sold  well.  The  tone  of  the 
reviewers  has  gratified  me,  but  I  am  amused  to  find 
myself  transplanted  into  the  ranks  of  political  writers 
and  quoted  as  an  "  authority  on  the  political  situation 
in  the  Far  East." 

That  Mrs.  Bishop  should  be  regarded  as  an  authority 
on  her  subject  was  not  surprising,  for  she  had  made 
good  use  of  a  great  opportunity.  Her  four  visits  to 
Korea  had  most  fortunately  coincided  with  the  duration 
of  a  critical  episode,  in  the  drama  of  Far  Eastern 
development,  which  nearly  concerned  politicians  in 
the  West,  but  about  which  reliable  information  was 
not  to  be  easily  obtained.  Mrs.  Bishop  possessed, 
as  we  have  seen,  the  friendship  and  confidence  of 
Europeans  resident  in  Seoul  who  were  thoroughly 
acquainted  with  the  country ;  they  had  initiated  her 
into  the  inner  life  of  the  isolated  "  hermit  nation " 
that,  for  centuries,  had  repelled  investigation,  and 
she  had  profited,  to  the  utmost,  by  these  exceptional 
facilities  for  the  intimate  study  of  a  peculiarly 
interesting  situation. 



MRS.  BISHOP'S  last  record  in  her  diary  for  1897  is — 

Farewell,  year  !     Thy  griefs  and  pains 
Now  are  gathered  to  the  past. 

She  sent  out  her  New  Year's  card,  with  two 
mottoes  :  Russell  Lowell's  "  Not  failure  but  low  aim 
is  crime,"  and  the  old  Korean  proverb — "You  can 
recover  an  arrow  that  you  have  shot,  but  not  a  word 
that  you  have  spoken." 

After  the  publication  of  Korea  and  her  Neighbours, 
she  received  daily  letters  of  congratulation  and  innu- 
merable reviews,  all  "  monotonously  favourable  "  and 
recognising  the  closeness  of  observation,  accuracy  of 
fact,  and  correctness  of  inference  displayed  in  it. 
She  admitted  that  the  consensus  of  favourable  opinion 
on  the  book,  and  the  recognition  of  the  labour 
bestowed  on  it,  were  very  gratifying,  "  as  it  cost  me 
more  toil  and  careful  investigation  than  all  my  other 
books  put  together."  She  writes  (January  19),  before 
the  book  had  been  out  ten  days  :  "  The  second  edition 
is  to  be  ready  on  Friday  and  is  more  than  half  ordered. 
It  is  the  political  interest  which  is  selling  it."  In  a 
letter  to  Sir  Thomas  Grainger  Stewart  she  strikes 
the  same  note  : 

It  is  less  as  a  book  of  travels,  than  as  a  book  on 
the  political  situation  that  it  is  commended,  and  it  was 
just  the  political  part  which  I  thought  would  bring 


1898]        SUCCESS  OF  KOREAN   BOOK          345 

down  a  good  deal  of  hostile  criticism.  Lord  Salisbury 
writes  to  Mr.  Murray  that  he  is  in  the  midst  of  it. 
Its  success  is  equally  great  in  America,  making  five 
editions  in  all.  This  success  was  quite  unlocked  for, 
and  I  am  very  glad  to  have  the  hard  and  conscientious 
work  of  a  year  so  fully  recognised. 

But  she  paid  the  penalty  of  her  strenuous  exertions, 
for  she  writes  (January  19)  from  Tobermory : 

I  quite  collapsed  after  coming  here,  and  was  not 
downstairs  for  more  than  three  weeks.  My  spine 
has  been  nearly  as  bad  as  in  its  worst  days,  and  con- 
tinues, in  spite  of  blisters,  to  be  very  painful,  and 
weakness  makes  going  about  in  this  hilly  place 
impossible.  Otherwise  The  Cottage  and  its  memories 
are  delightful  and  I  wish  I  could  stay  here  four 
months  longer.  There  are  no  worries  and  so  much 
freedom  and  peace.  But  there  are  few  with  whom 
one  can  exchange  any  educated  ideas.  The  people 
perish  of  brain-rust,  a  malady  which  appears  to  me 
to  affect  eight  out  of  ten  people  elsewhere  than  in 
Tobermory.  How  few  people  study,  or  work  mentally 
except  as  a  means  of  living !  To  most  people  there 
is  little  true,  nothing  new,  and  nothing  matters. 

She  writes  later  to  Mrs.  Bagshawe  : 

You  cannot  think  what  the  rest  is  to  me.  To  stay 
in  bed  or  to  get  up  as  I  feel  inclined ;  to  take  up  a  book 
for  pleasure  merely  ;  to  sit  with  my  feet  on  the  fender 
and  sew  ;  to  develop  and  print  photographs ;  to  watch 
nature  in  her  fiercest  phases  and  be  alone  with  her ; 
and  to  have  time  to  recall  the  sacred  memories  of 
which  this  cottage  is  the  shrine. 

She  left  on  the  last  day  of  January  and  got  into 
her  new  house  in  London  a  fortnight  later.  "Toiled 
all  day,"  is  a  frequent  entry  during  February.  Room 
by  room  the  house  was  set  in  order,  she  hung  pictures 
and  curtains,  arranged  her  books  and  superintended 
the  disposal  of  the  furniture  herself;  and  she  writes 
to  Lady  Middleton : 

346  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

I  have  not  room  to  unpack,  yet  the  little  house 
has  a  sort  of  homey,  old-fashioned  look,  and  for  the 
first  time  for  fourteen  years  I  am  able  to  offer 
hospitality  to  my  friends.  I  should  never  be  a 
Londoner,  fond  as  I  am  of  London,  but  just  now  I  am 
getting  on  fairly  well,  though  much  fatigued.  Since 
my  book  came  out,  I  have  spoken  at  several  Liberal- 
Unionist  political  meetings  on  the  Chinese  question. 

During  the  next  four  months,  she  was  very  busy 
with  missionary  addresses,  and  with  the  social  engage- 
ments which  naturally  increased  as  the  season  went 
on ;  and  though  her  house  was  always  full  of  visitors, 
she  left  them  free  to  come  or  go,  at  their  pleasure,  and 
felt  equally  free  herself,  to  lunch  or  dine  out,  to  attend 
a  Chinese  debate  in  the  House  of  Commons,  to  lecture 
on  New  Japan  and  Korea,  or  to  wander  off  on  the 
missionary  work  which  led  her  once  as  far  afield  as 
Dublin.  One  engagement,  to  dine  with  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Murray,  developed  in  a  manner  which  must  have 
caused  some  surprise  to  her  household.  On  rising 
to  leave,  she  found  herself  without  her  latch-key,  and, 
not  daring  to  go  home  and  ring  up  "  the  Dragon," 
she  cast  herself  on  her  hosts'  ready  hospitality  and 
spent  the  night  under  their  roof;  having  attended 
morning  prayers  and  breakfast,  in  evening  dress 
with  fan  and  handkerchief  in  hand,  she  only  appeared 
on  her  own  doorstep  in  the  course  of  the  morning. 

Amongst  many  names  recorded  in  her  engagement 
book  this  summer,  occur  those  of  Lady  Jane  Taylor 
— who,  as  Lady  Jane  Hay,  was  her  girlhood's  friend 
at  Wyton — of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bullock,  who  paid  her 
several  visits  at  Earl's  Terrace,  of  Colonel  Sawyer, 
Sir  Walter  Hillier,  Miss  Kingsley,  Count  Ugo  Balzani, 
Mrs.  J.  R.  Green,  Sir  William  and  Lady  Hunter,  and 
Mrs.  Glassford  Bell. 

By    Jury    25    sne    was   in    Edinburgh,   opening  a 

1898]  AT  20  EARL'S  TERRACE  347 

Missionary  Loan  Exhibition,  at  which  she  gave  an 
address  every  afternoon  for  four  days ;  and  this  was 
followed  by  an  active  missionary  campaign — including 
Melrose,  St.  Boswells,  Ripon,  York,  and  Scarborough 
— which  proved  too  much  for  her.  Her  health  broke 
down  again  in  August,  as  she  writes  to  Miss  Cullen : 

The  consequences  of  my  missionary  addresses  have 
been  so  bad  that  I  am  actually  and  really  resting, 
being  only  able  to  go  from  one  room  to  another. 
I  faddle  away  the  days  and  have  seen  no  one  to  speak 
to  for  a  week.  I  am  thankful  for  the  time  being  to 
have  such  a  charming  house  and  good  servants,  but 
I  fear  I  shall  hardly  be  able  to  remain  here  till  the  end 
of  my  time.  It  is  very  well  while  London  is  empty. 

The  five  weeks  of  enforced  quiet  at  home,  to  which 
she  submitted,  were  broken  into  by  two  restful  visits 
to  Mrs.  Brown,  and  the  "  faddling  away  the  days  " 
included  developing  and  printing  many  of  her  Chinese, 
Japanese,  and  Korean  photographs ;  these  she  was 
selling  to  swell  the  salary  of  Dr.  Pruen,  a  medical 
missionary  at  Paoning-fu.  She  was  also  occupied  in 
learning  to  make  lantern  slides  for  her  lectures,  and 
in  preparing  papers  on  the  "  Mantze  of  the  Tsu-ku- 
Shan  mountains,"  which  she  was  to  read  at  the  Clifton 
meeting  of  the  British  Association  in  September. 
This  she  did,  and  she  also  fulfilled  some  missionary 
engagements,  deriving  special  pleasure  from  a  lecture 
at  Tattenhall,  which  involved  a  visit  to  her  friend 
Mrs.  Barbour  of  Bolesworth.  But  she  writes  to 
Miss  Cullen  (October  13) : 

I  managed  to  read  my  papers  at  the  British 
Association  and  came  back  to  be  ill  again,  and  am 
now  only  just  beginning  to  get  out.  I  have  a  return 
of  the  malady  in  my  spine,  the  head  attacks,  and  a 
lame,  painful  knee.  I  had  not  given  a  missionary 
address  for  weeks  till  I  made  two  on  Monday  at 

348  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

Guildford,  for  Bishop  Ingham.  I  like  London  and 
find  my  house  quite  charming,  enabling  me  to  carry 
out  to  the  full  my  project  of  making  it  a  "  Hostel." 
I  have  two  or  three  guests  nearly  always  sleeping 
here,  and  they  enjoy  their  freedom  and  pass-keys ! 
My  last,  who  have  just  left  me,  were  Bishop  and 
Mrs.  Royston  and  Mr.  Masujima  for  a  fortnight — a 
heathen  Japanese  and  a  singularly  able  man,  leader 
of  the  Tokyo  Bar,  Adviser  to  the  Department  of 
Foreign  Affairs,  etc.  He  was  most  interesting  both 
on  England  and  Japan,  and  discussed  affairs  within 
the  English  Church  with  an  amount  of  knowledge  and 
insight  I  seldom  see. 

The  current  of  her  thoughts  was  diverted,  from 
all  her  minor  occupations,  by  Mr.  Murray's  request 
that  she  should  put  into  literary  form  her  notes  on 
the  Yangtze  River  and  on  Western  China,  and  this 
arduous  task  she  began  on  the  last  day  of  October, 
1898,  only  to  have  her  work  interrupted  by  an  out- 
break of  house-hunting.  This  time  Mrs.  Bishop  was 
bent  on  securing  a  house  in  the  country  near  Houghton 
and  Wyton.  Residence  in  London  involved  her 
in  too  much  social  life,  and  she  designed  to  escape 
from  that  tax  upon  her  increasingly  delicate  health. 
She  enjoyed  the  life,  and,  meeting  as  she  did  the  most 
interesting  and  active  workers  of  the  time,  whether 
in  politics,  philanthropy,  science,  or  literature,  she 
would  gladly  have  retained  her  place  in  their  midst. 
But  the  state  of  her  health  made  it  impossible  for 
her  to  combine  both  literary  and  public  work  with 
the  whirl  of  entertaining  and  being  entertained,  and  she 
allowed  herself  to  be  swayed,  in  the  choice  of  a  home, 
by  the  memories  of  her  youth  and  the  neighbourhood 
of  her  almost  lifelong  friend  Mrs.  Brown,  at  Houghton. 
The  house  eventually  chosen  was  Hartford  Hurst, 
on  the  Ouse,  in  the  next  parish  to  Wyton.  It  was 
taken  for  a  long  lease  from  March,  1899,  a  year  before 


her  lease  of  20  Earl's  Terrace  expired.  But  there  was 
much  to  do  in  the  way  of  improvement  and  addition, 
and  she  did  not  propose  to  take  possession  till  August. 
A  letter  to  Lady  Middleton  (February  5,  1899) 
gives  some  of  her  reasons  for  the  step. 

In  the  autumn  I  was  urged  to  write  a  book  on  the 
Yangtze  Valley,  which  means  working  for  six  hours  a 
day  for  the  next  eight  months,  through  the  London 
season,  and  through  a  complete  move  of  all  my  goods 
and  chattels  to  Huntingdonshire.  I  took  my  house  at 
Earl's  Terrace  for  two  years,  chiefly  to  have  a  nice  place 
in  which  to  receive  my  friends,  but  I  never  expected  that 
I  should  be  able  to  remain  longer  than  two  years,  and 
my  health  has  so  broken  down  under  the  strain  of 
London  life  that  I  have  decided  to  leave  it  in  August. 
I  should  not  care  to  live  in  London  unless  I  were 
strong  enough  to  be  in  the  thick  of  things,  and  old  age 
is  coming  on  with  leaps  and  bounds.  So  I  am  taking 
a  lease  of  Hartford  Hurst,  an  hour  and  a  quarter  from 
London  and  a  mile  from  Huntingdon,  in  a  village 
street  with  three  acres  of  ground  and  a  boat-house  on 
the  Ouse.  It  is  a  very  unideal  house  in  an  unideal 
neighbourhood,  but  the  next  parish  was  my  father's 
last  parish,  and  I  spent  there  a  happy  youth  from 
sixteen  to  twenty-seven,  and  it  is  less  trouble  to  go 
into  a  neighbourhood  which  I  know  intimately,  than 
to  make  acquaintance  with  a  new  one.  At  all  events 
it  is  a  pied-a-terre  so  long  as  I  can  move  about,  and 
when  I  can't  it  may  prove  a  haven.  It  is  very  odd  to 
look  at  all  things  in  the  light  of  old  age,  and  I  am 
trying  resolutely  to  face  it,  thankful  all  the  time  that 
my  best-beloved  never  knew  it  and  that  they  had 
neither  to  live  nor  die  alone. 

Mrs.  Bishop  remained  in  town  all  the  winter  and 
kept  steadily  to  her  work  on  China,  of  which,  by 
February,  she  had  completed  one-third.  On  the  i4th 
of  that  month  I  went  to  pay  her  a  week's  visit ;  she 
was  far  from  well,  but  was  constantly  engaged  and 
saw  many  friends,  especially,  at  that  time,  Miss 
Kingsley,  Miss  Kinnaird,  and  Mrs.  Palmer.  I  can 

350  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

remember  only  one  evening  on  which  she  dined  at 
home,  but  an  incident  connected  with  the  hour  after 
dinner  has  impressed  it  indelibly  on  my  memory. 
When  we  came  up  to  the  drawing-room,  she  sat 
down  upon  the  sofa  and  asked  me  to  sit  beside  her. 
She  wore  a  Chinese  dress  of  delicate  lavender  brocade, 
made  Chinese  fashion  and  very  comfortable.  She 
took  my  hand  and  said :  "  I  wish  to  speak  to  you 
about  a  matter  that  is  on  my  mind;  I  feel  very  ill 
and  have  little  doubt  that  my  years  are  nearly 
numbered.  When  I  die,  it  may  be  that  my  memory 
will  perish  with  me,  but  it  also  may  be  that  others 
will  care  to  know  something  about  me.  I  hardly 
expect  it— but  should  there  come  a  call  for  my  bio- 
graphy, will  you  write  it  ?  I  should  wish  it  to  be 
written  by  you." 

The  suggestion  was  so  sudden,  and  so  complicated 
with  pain  and  thoughts  of  many  kinds,  that  it  was 
impossible  to  say  more  than  "  yes."  The  matter 
was  not  further  alluded  to,  and  the  summer  passed 
in  the  same  pressure  of  engagements  as  the  spring. 
She  continued  hard  at  work  on  the  Chinese  book ; 
and  though  it  was  not  till  August  24  that  she  com- 
pleted it,  yet  most  of  it  was  in  type,  and  fully  revised, 
long  before.  She  took  infinite  pains  with  the  illus- 
trations, which  were  produced  from  photographs 
taken  during  her  tour,  with  the  addition  of  repro- 
ductions of  three  interesting  old  Chinese  pictures 
given  her  by  the  Chinese  Inland  Mission.  Lord 
Salisbury  accepted  the  dedication  in  a  letter  which 
gratified  her.  "  Such  a  recognition,  from  such  a  man, 
in  such  a  position,  is  worth  a  great  deal  to  an  author." 

Early  in  September  she  took  leave  of  20  Earl's 
Terrace,  and  stayed  a  few  days  with  Mrs.  Palmer 
at  10  Grosvenor  Crescent,  before  following  her 



furniture  to  Hartford  Hurst.  She  had  been  fortunate 
enough  to  secure  Blair's  return  to  her  service,  and 
installed  her  at  the  Hurst  as  housekeeper.  She 
herself  stayed  with  Mrs.  Brown,  while  her  house 
was  being  made  habitable,  and  indeed  that  autumn 
she  did  not  spend  more  than  a  week  in  it ;  its  loneli- 
ness overpowered  her,  and  the  Elms  attracted  her 
to  remain  within  the  shelter  of  its  comfort  and 
loving  care. 

About  the  middle  of  October  she  went  north  to 
Tobermory,  staying  on  her  way  with  old  friends  in 
Edinburgh  till  November  n.  Sir  Thomas  Grainger 
Stewart  was  in  bad  health,  and  when  she  bade  him 
good-bye  it  was  with  a  mournful  presentiment,  for  she 
entered  the  incident  in  her  diary  as  "so  sad."  Mrs. 
Bishop  seems  to  have  collapsed  immediately  after  her 
arrival  at  Tobermory  and  to  have  turned  with  aversion 
from  all  work,  visiting,  and  exertion,  for  about  three 
weeks.  She  sat  by  the  fire,  read  nothing  but  the  news- 
papers, urged  by  the  tragic  interest  of  the  Boer  War, 
sewed  a  great  deal,  and  chatted  with  Mrs.  and  Miss 
Macdonald,  who  spent  every  possible  evening  with  her. 

Her  book,  The  Yangtze  Valley  and  Beyond^  was 
published  in  November,  but  England  was  preoccupied 
with  the  Boer  War,  and  at  first  it  received  less 
attention  than  her  Korean  volumes  had  done.  Lord 
Salisbury  read  it  with  care,  and  wrote  twice  to  her 
expressing  his  appreciation.  The  reviews  were 
favourable,  and  many  of  them  even  intelligent.  But 
the  moment  was  unpropitious,  for  South  Africa  held 
all  hearts  and  minds,  and  the  Far  East  was  obliterated 
for  a  time. 

I  am  sorry  [she  wrote  to  Sir  Walter  Hillier  on 
December  8],  for  I  put  ten  months  of  hard  work  into 
it,  and  I  should  like  to  have  imposed  some  of  my 

352  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

opinions  on  a  larger  circle  of  readers  than  it  is  likely 
I  shall  have. 

A  little  later  on,  when  South  African  affairs  were 
less  engrossing,  Mrs.  Bishop  was  cheered  by  hearing 
that  the  sale  of  her  book  had  improved  greatly.  In 
this  letter  she  goes  on  to  tell  her  correspondent  that 
Dr.  Scott  Keltic  had  asked  her  to  contribute  the 
article  on  Korea  to  The  Times  supplement  of  the 
Encyclopaedia  Britannica,  and  that  she  felt  that  she 
should  not  let  the  "  honour  go  past." 

Then  in  allusion  to  the  Church  Congress  of  the 
foregoing  October,  at  which  she  had  read  a  paper, 
she  continues : 

I  was  much  disappointed  with  the  Church  Congress. 
It  hung  flat.  From  my  own  experience  in  reading  a 

Eaper  there,  I  think  it  is  hardly  possible  to  put  life  and 
re  into  twenty  minutes'  papers,  prepared  as  they 
must  be  weeks  before.  Only  those  either  of  pure  fact 
or  argument  can  stand  this  process.  The  most 
interesting  was  by  Lord  Halifax  (though  I  have  no 
sympathy  with  his  desire  to  return  to  religious 
mediaevalism),  because  it  had'the  energy  of  conviction 
and  the  glow  of  devotion. 

That  winter  was  cold  and  damp.  Snow,  rain,  and 
storms  of  wind  depressed  all  December  and  much  of 
January.  Influenza  was  rife,  and  many  deaths  amongst 
the  older  people  diminished  the  number  of  her  friends. 
A  not  unexpected  death  in  Edinburgh  filled  up  her  cup 
of  sorrow,  for  on  February  3,  1900,  her  faithful  and 
ever-helpful  friend  Sir  Thomas  Grainger  Stewart 
passed  from  suffering  into  peace. 

I  have  thought  of  you  all  and  of  nothing  else  for 
these  two  days  [she  writes  on  the  4th  to  Lady  Grain- 

fer  Stewart] ;  they  have  been  such  glorious  days,  and 
felt  how  the   brilliant   sunshine  must  almost  have 
jarred  upon  those  who  have  been  sitting  with  darkened 

i9oo]  SORROW  353 

hearts  in  the  bereft  and  darkened  home.  I  have 
pictured  you  all  as  worn  out,  and  yet  I  have  felt  that 
each  would  try  and  strengthen  the  other  to  bear  what 
must  be  borne,  in  such  a  united  family,  all  sorrowing. 
And  I  pray  constantly,  that  such  comfort  as  you  are 
able  to  receive  may  come  from  thoughts  of  "  the  good 
fight  foughten  well,  and  of  his  crowned  brow."  And 
thoughts  too  of  the  singularly  happy  home  life,  which 
your  beloved  husband  had,  and  how  in  all  these  years 
wife  and  children  have  been  a  ceaseless  source  of 
conscious  joy.  .  .  .  To  me  for  thirty  years  he  had  been 
such  a  true  and  trusted  friend,  the  one  to  whom  my 
thoughts  specially  turned  in  any  new  interest  or 
change  of  circumstances — and  then  to  my  husband, 
who,  on  hearing  two  days  before  his  death  that  there 
was  a  letter  from  Sir  Thomas,  which  he  was  too  weak 
to  hear,  whispered  with  a  smile — "  most  true  and  trusted 
friend."  Nothing  endeared  your  husband  more  to  me 
than  his  abiding  sense  of  loss  in  that  death.  I  look 
back  upon  his  years  of  kindness  to  me,  his  delightful 
conversation  giving  me  of  his  best,  and  his  appreciative 
insight  into  Hennie  and  my  husband,  and  feel  life  very 
blank  and  poor  to-day,  an  emptiness  in  it  never  to  be 
filled.  I  never  dreamed  that  he  would  go  before  me, 
and  yet  when  I  wished  him  good-bye  I  had  a  terrible 
presentiment  that  it  was  farewell. 

To  Mrs.  Blackie,  Mrs.  Bishop  writes  (February  18): 

No  pain,  no  pang  of  parting — then  silence  for  ever. 
And  where  do  they  all  go  ?  And  where  are  we  going  ? 
A  greater  loss  could  not  have  befallen  me,  not  only  of 
a  doctor  who  never  made  a  mistake  in  his  advice,  but 
of  a  most  true  and  faithful  friend  to  me  and  my 
husband.  I  have  rarely  seen  a  man  so  unselfish  in  his 
own  house,  so  careful  and  considerate  for  others.  A 
few  weeks  ago  he  insisted  on  giving  up  morphia, 
feeling  that  it  made  him  irritable.  How  pathetic  life 
becomes  when  its  landmarks  are  graves  alone.  I  have 
felt  profoundly  depressed  during  this  my  last  winter 
here,  and  the  indifference  of  my  friends  to  my  last  book, 
my  youngest  child,  the  child  of  my  old  age,  has  hurt 
and  grieved  me  much.  So  much  of  life  and  self  went 
into  it  and  ten  months  of  severe  toil.  I  have  read  very 
little  except  newspapers;  I  have  sewed  a  great  deal 


354  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

and  have  been  working  for  the  last  month  at  a  long 
and  stiff  paper  for  the  Encyclopedia  Britannica.  I  go 
among  the  people,  hear  a  good  deal,  but  everything 
is  done  with  a  heartache  and  an  awful  feeling  of 

That  winter  Mrs.  Bishop  had  come  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  cottage  at  Tobermory  must  be  given  up. 
Already  during  the  winter  of  1896-7  she  had  been 
shocked  and  grieved  by  the  stagnation  of  religious  life, 
the  increase  of  intemperance,  the  growing  callousness 
to  all  good  counsel,  and,  even  then,  she  had  referred 
in  a  letter,  to  the  deterioration  which,  on  her  return,  she 
found  had  taken  place  during  her  long  absence. 

Tobermory  is  certainly  four  years  worse.  Drink  is 
ravaging  it.  Several  young  men  are  at  this  time  dying 
of  it,  and  many  of  the  older  men  have  come  to  wreck  with 
it  since  I  was  last  here.  The  Temperance  Society  and 
the  Band  of  Hope  are  both  defunct.  And  this  after  it 
has  been  worked  for  and  wept  for  and  prayed  for  with 
strong  crying  and  tears  time  out  of  mind. 

Later  on  she  spoke  of  this  to  me,  adding  that  the  old 
piety,  which  made  the  West  Highland  Sunday  a  day  of 
peace  and  worship,  was  almost  extinct,  and  that  un- 
belief was  degrading  the  people  whom  her  sister  had 
loved  and  served.  That  the  matter  was  much  in  her 
mind  is  shown  by  a  paragraph  in  her  book  on  China. 
She  describes  the  way  that,  on  the  Yangtze  and  in 
Canton,  she  had  seen  the  Chinese  celebrate  their  great 
festival  New  Year's  day,  saying  that  the  solemnity  and 
stillness,  of  the  first  hours  of  the  great  day,  reminded 
her  of  an  old-fashioned  Scotch  Sunday.  Later  on,  she 
said,  followed  feasting  and  fireworks ;  but  universal 
politeness  and  good  behaviour  prevailed,  and,  owing  to 
the  moderate  use  of  intoxicants,  the  three  days  of  this 
universal  holiday  passed  by  without  turmoil  or  dis- 
grace, and  the  population  went  back  to  trade  and  work 


not  demoralised  by  its  spell  of  social  festivity.     And 
she  concluded : 

So  the  most  ancient  of  the  world's  existing  civilisa- 
tions comports  itself  on  its  great  holiday,  while  our 
civilisation  of  yesterday,  especially  in  Scotland,  what 
with  "  first-footing  "  and  "  treating,"  is  apt  to  turn  the 
holiday  into  a  pandemonium. 

This  year  all  noticed  a  great  change  in  the  attitude 
of  the  villagers  towards  her  efforts  on  their  behalf. 
She  made  a  despairing  attempt  to  reclaim  the  women 
drunkards,  whose  roll  had  lamentably  lengthened,  and 
she  was  recompensed  with  their  anger.  It  seemed 
as  if  all  that  she  had  done  were  futile,  though  the 
Y.W.C.A.  continued  to  flourish  in  Mrs.  Allan's  capable 
hands,  and  thanks  to  her  unremitting  exertions.  In 
February  Mrs.  Bishop  wrote : 

The  place  does  not  improve.  The  people  are  so  intel- 
lectually lazy  and  so  spiritually  dead,  and  so  contented 
merely  to  vegetate.  It  is  pitiable  and  blamable,  and  I 
see  no  hope  that  things  will  ever  be  any  better.  I 
think  that  "  the  day  of  visitation  "  was  when  she  was 
here.  She  influenced  Tobermory  at  least  for  the  time 
being  and  some  persons  permanently.  It  is  hard  to 
me  to  love  the  Tobermory  people,  and  without  love  one 
is  useless. 

She  had  indeed  many  educated  friends  at  Tobermory 
who  were  devoted  to  her  and  thoroughly  appreciated 
the  elevating  influence  of  her  life.  "  We  lived  better 
lives  for  her  presence  amongst  us,"  said  Mrs.  McLach- 
lan  of  Badarroch ;  "  unconsciously  we  tried  to  live  as 
she  did — for  others."  "  Here  we  can  think  no  evil 
thought,  far  less  speak  one  evil  word,"  said  Dr.  Alex- 
ander Macdonald  at  The  Cottage  one  day.  But  the 
hills  tried  her  heart,  and  the  three  days'  journey  to 
England  was  a  drawback.  So,  feeling  that,  since  she 
could  no  longer  redeem  the  lives  of  her  poorer 

356  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

neighbours,  her  ties  to  Toberrnory  were  loosened,  she 
very  reluctantly  gave  the  Free  Church  deacons'  court 
notice  that  she  would  give  up  The  Cottage  at  the  term, 
and  in  the  month  of  March  began  the  slow  process  of 
packing  her  possessions,  for  despatch  to  Hartford 

On  Sunday,  March  u,  she  took  a  walk  with  Miss 
Macdonald  towards  the  lighthouse.  She  slipped  on 
one  rock  and  fell  down  another,  with  her  whole  weight 
on  her  left  knee,  the  joint  of  which  was  badly  injured. 
She  saved  herself,  from  falling  down  the  cliff  to  the 
sea,  by  seizing  hold  of  a  tree,  and  this  sprained  her 
right  arm  and  lacerated  one  of  its  tendons.  Miss 
Macdonald  managed  to  get  her  home,  and  Mrs.  Mac- 
donald fomented  the  swollen  and  injured  knee  and 
bandaged  her  arm,  but  for  a  long  time  she  was  lame 
and  her  arm  was  maimed.  So  these  helpful  friends 
undertook  to  pack,  while  Mrs.  Bishop  worked  slowly 
at  her  article  on  Korea.  It  was  finished  by  March  20. 
On  Thursday,  the  29th,  she  said  farewell  to  the  members 
of  the  Y.W.C.A.,  and  the  days  following  were  given 
up  to  taking  leave  of  her  friends.  Sunday,  April  i, 
was  the  last  day  that  she  spent  at  The  Cottage.  She 
had  written  to  Mrs.  Macdiarmid : 

I  give  up  this  blessed  cottage  and  the  life  inherited 
from  her,  at  the  term,  and  leave  it  finally  on  April  4. 
...  It  is  hard — God  alone  knows  how  hard— and  it 
closes  a  chapter  in  my  life,  with  all  the  lovely  and 
pathetic  memories,  first  of  her  and  then  of  my  husband. 
I;  have  had  The  Cottage  nearly  twenty  years.  I  have 
not  been  comfortable  here  this  winter. 

On  the  day  she  left  she  wrote  again  to  Mrs.  Mac- 
diarmid : 

Hector  Mackinnon  has  packed  all  the  things,  the  dear 
things  associated  with  her,  which  I  cannot  part  from  and 

,900]  LEAVING  THE  COTTAGE  357 

which  will  furnish  my  bedroom  and  boudoir  in  my 
English  house,  but  they  will  never  be  the  same  as  here. 
I  am  taking  some  of  her  loved  plants  too,  the  bulbs  and 
cuttings  from  the  ivy.  .  .  .  Would  that  I  could  take 
the  bay,  the  moorland,  the  sunsets,  all  that  she  loved 
and  that  I  loved  so  well.  I  think  I  would  rather  die 
here  than  live  anywhere  else. 

She  spent  her  last  days  at  Heanish  and  stayed  with 
the  Macdonalds  till  Wednesday,  the  4th,  when  she 
left  Tobermory  for  ever.  On  her  way  south  Mrs. 
Bishop  spent  two  days  in  Edinburgh,  with  Miss  Nelson 
at  Abney  House,  and  accounted  for  her  very  noticeable 
lameness  by  saying,  "  I  fell  over  the  cliff  shortly 
before  leaving  Tobermory."  Sfie  betrayed  such 
unwonted  nervousness,  about  her  journey  to  Hunting- 
don, that  Miss  Nelson,  to  reassure  her,  went  to  the 
stationmaster  arid  secured  her  seat  beforehand. 

A  time  of  restless  activity  succeeded  Mrs.  Bishop's 
journey  south.  Visits,  lectures,  occasional  rushes  to 
Hartford  Hurst,  lodgings  in  London  all  May  and 
June,  the  season's  social  swirl,  three  weeks  of  July 
devoted  to  visiting  her  relatives,  and  a  final  week  with 
Mrs.  Palmer,  at  10  Grosvenor  Crescent,  occupied  four 
months,  from  the  records  of  which  it  is  difficult  to 
gather  any  matter  of  definite  interest.  On  June  25 
she  was  present  at  the  Women  Writers'  annual  dinner 
and  was  "  bored  " — and  who  shall  wonder  ? 

In  her  rooms  at  Kensington  Crescent,  not  far  from 
Earl's  Terrace,  visitors  were  ceaseless.  She  lunched 
and  dined  out  almost  daily,  and  there  are  few  allusions 
to  her  injured  knee  and  arm.  Perhaps  the  relief  of 
having  no  book  on  hand  made  all  this  movement 
pleasurable,  but  she  was  not  solely  absorbed  in  it. 
In  a  letter  to  Sir  Walter  Hillier  (May  14)  she  says : 

I  have  begun  French  conversation  lessons,  lessons  in 
photography  (developing,  platinotyping,  and  lantern- 

358  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

slide  making  by  reduction),  and  am  preparing  to  take 
a  few  cooking  lessons.  I  am  also  ordering  a  tricycle 
in  the  hope  of  getting  more  exercise." 

She  was,  in  fact,  planning  new  travels  and  had  told 
her  correspondent  so  in  February : 

I  propose  to  go  away  for  the  winter,  to  Algiers  and 
Morocco  possibly.  I  am  not  able  now  for  long  rides 
and  climbs  on  foot,  but  I  feel  quite  able  for  modified 
travelling,  and  should  like  to  go  up  the  West  River 
in  China,  and  by  ways  I  know  not  from  the  head  of 
its  navigation  to  reach  To-chien-lu  and  get  up  to 
Somo  and  Sieng-pon-ling  and  thence  to  Peking.  But 
I  suppose  this  would  be  hardly  safe  alone.  It  could 
be  done  by  boat  and  chair. 

The  two  schemes  were  in  her  mind  at  once.  Her 
friend  Sir  Ernest  Satow  had  been  sent  to  Peking  as 
British  Minister,  and  had  invited  her  to  come  and 
spend  a  winter  at  the  Legation  there.  Her  former 
visit  to  Peking  had  been  cut  short,  and  the  thought 
of  some  months  in  security  "  behind  the  scenes  "  was 
most  stimulating.  But  the  state  of  her  knee  and  arm 
forbade  the  farther  journey,  and  her  attention  was 
limited  to  Morocco. 

It  was  not  till  August  that  she  went  to  Hartford 
Hurst,  and  set  herself  seriously  to  convert  the  house 
into  a  home.  She  had  avoided  it,  for  a  whole  year, 
but  now  the  associations,  connected  with  the  river 
and  the  neighbourhood,  began  to  act  upon  her  and 
she  made  it  her  headquarters  till  December.  More 
cannot  be  said,  for,  besides  constant  visits  to  the  Elms, 
she  had  numberless  autumn  engagements.  In  a  letter 
to  Miss  Cullen  she  says  (August  29) : 

After  a  great  deal  of  going  hither  and  thither,  I  came 
here  some  weeks  ago,  having  two  servants.  The 
Miss  Kers  came  the  next  day  for  ten  days.  It  was 
a  very  bright  time.  They  were  at  once  followed  by 

i9oo]  VISITORS  AT  THE  HURST  359 

Mrs.  J.  R.  Green,  the  widow  of  the  historian,  and 
Mr.  Taylor,  a  Dublin  barrister,  Mr.  Ball,  the  art-director 
at  Cassell's,  and  K.  Maclean,  formerly  of  Tobermory. 
I  am  alone  for  a  little  now,  and  very  glad  to  be  so,  as 
the  unpacking  and  arranging  are  not  nearly  finished. 
On  September  21  I  go  for  a  week  to  Newcastle  to  the 
Church  Congress,  where  I  have  been  asked  to  read 
a  paper,  and  to  speak  twice,  as  well  as  to  speak  at  a 
Church  Army  gathering.  Then  I  purpose  to  return 
and  receive  visitors  till  October  16,  when  I  go  to 
Leeds  to  give  six  lectures,  after  which  I  have  very 
many  engagements  till  November  22.  I  find  house- 
keeping a  great  tax.  It  is  easy  enough  when  shops 
are  near,  and  fish  and  poultry  can  be  obtained  to  give 
variety  for  guests.  I  see  much  of  Mrs.  Brown,  whose 
thoughtfulness  is  unfailing. 

Mrs.  Bishop's  arm  was  now  less  crippled,  and  she 
could  row  her  visitors  on  the  Ouse  for  an  hour  at  a 
time,  as  well  as  go  constantly  alone  by  river  to 
Houghton,  where  she  could  fasten  her  boat  and  walk 
up  to  the  Elms  by  a  short  lane. 

Mr.  Ball  had  come  to  arrange  about  the  publication 
of  a  hundred  and  twenty-six  of  her  Chinese  photo- 
graphs, with  explanatory  notes,  dictated  to  him  during 
his  stay,  and  the  square  green  book  was  published 
that  autumn  by  Messrs.  Cassell  under  the  title  Chinese 

It  is  doubtful  whether  she  ever  became  really 
attached  to  the  Hurst.  She  wrote  towards  the  end 
of  her  stay  that  autumn  to  Mrs.  Macdonald : 

I  do  not  know  that  I  shall  ever  like  it.  If  I  could 
get  rest  I  might,  but  I  am  very  hard  worked  and  have 
before  me  weeks  of  lectures  and  addresses  on  missions 
and  on  China,  after  which  I  purposed  to  go  for  the 
winter  either  to  Morocco  or  China — and  now  a  letter 
has  come  from  the  Bishop  of  Calcutta  asking  me  if 
I  will  go  to  India  for  the  winter  and  help  to  fill  the 
place  of  some  workers  who  have  broken  down  and 
have  had  to  come  home.  The  work  is  in  connection 

36o  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

with  those  famine  relief  funds  which  have  been  placed 
in  the  hands  of  missionaries. 

This  invitation  Mrs.  Bishop  finally  declined.  Her 
arduous  missionary  campaign  ended,  she  returned  to 
Hartford  Hurst,  on  the  last  day  of  November,  for  a 
few  days,  to  pack  up  for  the  journey  to  Morocco, 
and  then  took  lodgings  in  London  for  a  fortnight. 

In  sixteen  hours  [she  writes  to  Miss  Cullen, 
December  22]  I  am  to  sail.  The  steamer  goes  first 
to  the  West  African  coast,  then  to  Gibraltar,  and 
lastly  to  Tangier,  where  she  should  arrive  on  January  4. 
The  steamer  company  has  sent  me  a  free  ticket,  the 
fifth  I  have  had.  I  propose  to  go  first  to  the  Villa  de 
France.  It  is  absolute  rest  that  I  must  have,  if  I  am 
to  do  any  work  in  the  world,  so  I  am  not  taking  any 
introductions  for  Tangier.  I  am  taking  for  rest, 
photography,  embroidery,  and  water-colours. 

The  steamer  reached  Tangier  on  New  Year's  Day, 
1901,  and  Mrs.  Bishop  spent  altogether  six  months  in 
Morocco ;  part  of  the  time,  however,  she  was  incapaci- 
tated by  illness.  She  apparently  did  not  attain  the 
rest  which  she  set  out  to  seek,  for  she  rode,  she  says  : 

in  all  1,000  miles,  visiting  the  northern  and  southern 
capitals,  the  holy  city  of  Wazan,  the  coast  cities,  many 
of  the  agricultural  and  pastoral  districts  of  the  interior, 
and  journeying,  among  the  Berbers  of  the  Atlas  moun- 
tains, as  far  as  the  Castle  of  Glowa,  on  the  southern 
slope  of  the  pass  of  the  same  name,  between  the  capital 
and  Tafilet. 

After  her  return  to  England,  she  refused  to  write 
a  book  on  Morocco,  on  account  of  her  scanty  notes; 
but  she  put  together  an  article  for  The  Monthly  Review 
(October  1901)  which,  although  it  gives  no  account 
of  her  doings,  yet  is  full  of  vivid  impressions  of  the 
country  and  its  people. 

Specimen  of  one  of  Mrs.  Bishop's  Chinese  photographs. 

i9oi]  CAMPING  IN  MOROCCO  361 

Soon  after  her  arrival,  she  contracted  blood- 
poisoning  and  was  three  weeks  in  bed,  at  the  Villa 
de  France,  with  such  high  fever  that  she  was  not 
allowed  even  to  see  her  letters;  it  was  not  till 
February  8  that  she  could  read  the  Times  account 
of  Queen  Victoria's  funeral.  Later,  Dr.  Roberts,  who 
attended  her,  removed  her  to  his  own  home  at  the 
Medical  Mission  Hospital,  and  on  March  4  she  was 
able  to  leave  by  sea  for  Mogador  and  two  months' 
camping.  She  wrote  (March  16)  to  Mrs.  Brown  from 
Marakesh  (Morocco  City) : 

I  left  Tangier  and  had  a  severe  two  days'  voyage 
to  Mazagan,  where  the  landing  was  so  terrible,  and  the 
sea  so  wild,  that  the  captain  insisted  on  my  being 
lowered  into  the  boat,  by  the  ship's  crane,  in  a  coal 
basket.  The  officers  and  passengers  cheered  my  pluck 
as  the  boat  mounted  a  huge  breaking  surge  on  her 
landward  adventure.  No  cargo  could  be  landed.  I 
have  never  been  in  a  boat  in  so  rough  a  sea.  Before 
leaving  the  steamer  I  had  a  return  of  fever;  and  when 
the  only  camping-ground  turned  out  to  be  a  soaked 
ploughed  field  with  water  standing  in  the  furrows,  and 
the  tent  was  pitched  in  a  storm  of  wind  and  rain,  and 
many  of  the  tent-pegs  would  not  hold,  and  when  the 
head  of  my  bed  went  down  into  the  slush  when  I  lay 
down,  I  thought  I  should  die  there — but  I  had  no  more 
illness  or  fever !  A  first  night  in  camp  is  always 
trying,  but  this  was  chaos,  for  we  had  not  expected 
to  camp,  and  had  not  the  necessaries ;  my  servant, 
Mohammed,  the  worst  I  have  ever  had,  is  not  only 
ignorant  and  incompetent,  but  most  disagreeable. 
After  an  awful  night — during  which  the  heavy  wet  end 
of  my  tent,  having  broken  loose,  flapped  constantly 
against  my  head — things  mended.  The  rain  ceased, 
and  when  a  ground-sheet  had  native  matting  over  it, 
the  tent  looked  tolerable.  We  left  with  camel,  mule, 
donkey,  and  horse,  after  three  days,  and  travelled  here, 
126  miles,  in  six  days,  in  very  fine  weather. 

Marakesh  is  awful ;  an  African  city  of  80,000  people, 
the  most  crowded,  noisiest,  vilest,  filthiest,  busiest 
city  I  have  seen  in  the  world.  It  terrifies  me.  It  is 

362  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

the  great  Mohammedan  feast,  lasting  a  week,  and 
several  thousand  tribesmen — sheiks,  with  their  re- 
tainers— are  here,  all  armed,  mounted  on  their  superb 
barbs,  splendidly  caparisoned — men  wild  as  the  moun- 
tains and  deserts  from  which  they  come  here  to  do 
homage  to  the  Sultan  and  exhibit  the  national  game 
of  powder-play. 

I  have  seen  several  grand  sights — the  Sultan  in  the 
midst  of  his  brilliant  army,  receiving  the  homage  of 
the  sheiks,  and  on  another  day,  similarly  surrounded, 
killing  a  sheep  in  memory  of  Abraham's  sacrifice  of 
Isaac,  and  as  an  atonement  for  the  sins  of  the  year. 
I  was  at  the  last  in  Moorish  disguise,  pure  white  and 
veiled,  through  the  good  offices  of  Kaid  Maclean  [Sir 
Harry  de  Vere  Maclean,  for  twenty-five  years  the 
generalissimo  of  the  Sultan's  army] — a  Maclean  of 
Loch  Buie  in  Mull.  I  have  a  Moorish  house  to  myself 
with  a  courtyard  choked  with  orange-trees  in  blossom 
and  fruit.  I  also  have  what  is  a  terror  to  me,  a 
magnificent  barb,  the  property  of  the  Sultan  ;  a  most 
powerful  black  charger,  a  huge  fellow  far  too  much 
for  me,  equipped  with  crimson  trappings  and  a  peaked 
crimson  saddle,  eighteen  inches  above  his  back.  I  have 
to  carry  a  light  ladder  for  getting  on  and  off!  I  have 
been  waiting  for  three  days  to  get  away  and  make  an 
expedition  into  the  Atlas  range,  whose  glittering 
snows  form  a  semi-circle  round  half  the  plain. 

The  day  before  Mrs.  Bishop  left  Marakesh,  she  was 
received  by  the  Sultan,  who  gave  her  an  audience 
lasting  twenty  minutes  and  showed  much  interest  in 
her  photography,  a  craft  in  which  he  was  himself  an 
expert.  He  had  just  had  two  photographic  cameras 
made  for  him  by  Adams  of  Charing  Cross  Road. 
One  of  i8-carat  gold  cost  2,000  guineas,  the  other  of 
silver  £900.  Mrs.  Bishop  now  left  for  the  expedition 
in  the  Atlas,  and  travelled  nominally  as  the  Sultan's 
guest.  She  was  hospitably  received  in  the  castles 
of  the  Berber  sheiks  and  khalifas,  and  witnessed  a  life 
which,  though  on  a  larger  scale,  resembles  greatly  that 
lived  by  the  mediaeval  barons  of  our  border  castles. 

i9oi]         IN  THE  ATLAS  MOUNTAINS          363 

The  fortress  of  the  hereditary  Kaid  of  Glowa,  the 
richest  and  most  powerful  of  the  chiefs,  is,  she  says, 
a  huge  double-towered  pile  of  stone,  on  a  height,  with 
high  walls  and  provisioned  for  a  considerable  term, 
and  contains,  besides  five  hundred  human  beings, 
great  wealth  in  slaves,  flocks,  herds,  arms  and  am- 

She  wrote  to  Mrs.  Brown  from  one  of  these  Berber 
strongholds,  Zarktan  Castle : 

With  mules,  horses,  and  soldiers,  and  with  Mr. 
Summers  as  fellow  traveller,  I  left  the  din  and  devilry 
of  Marakesh — as  the  Sultan's  guest — and  have  been 
travelling  six  hours  daily  since,  camping  four  nights 
and  sleeping  two  in  the  castles  of  these  wild  tribes 
till  to-night,  when  we  are  camped  in  the  fastnesses 
of  the  great  Atlas  range  at  a  height  of  i,opo  feet,  in 
as  wild  a  region  as  can  be  imagined.  This  journey 
differs  considerably  from  any  other  and  it  is  as 
rough  as  the  roughest.  I  never  expected  to  do  such 
travelling  again.  You  would  fail  to  recognise  your 
infirm  friend  astride  on  a  superb  horse  in  full  blue 
trousers  and  a  short  full  skirt,  with  great  brass  spurs 
belonging  to  the  generalissimo  of  the  Moorish  army, 
and  riding  down  places  awful  even  to  think  of,  where 
a  rolling  stone  or  a  slip  would  mean  destruction.  In 
these  wild  mountains  we  are  among  tribes  which  Rome 
failed  to  conquer.  It  is  evidently  air  and  riding  which 
do  me  good.  I  never  realised  this  so  vividly  as  now. 
I  am  fortunate  in  having  such  a  fellow  traveller,  in 
capability,  kindness  and  knowledge  of  the  language 
and  people,  a  strong,  manly,  resourceful  man,  never 
worried  (and  what  worries  there  are !)  and  with 
absolute  control  of  temper.  He  arranges  and  pays 
everything,  and  I  settle  once  a  week.  My  servant  is 
of  the  worst  kind,  lazy,  dirty,  incompetent,  dishonest, 
and  he  does  not  know  a  word  of  English.  This  is  an 
awful  country,  the  worst  I  have  been  in.  The  oppres- 
sion and  cruelty  are  hellish — no  one  is  safe.  The 
country  is  rotten  to  the  core,  eaten  up  by  abominable 
vices,  no  one  is  to  be  trusted.  Every  day  deepens  my 
horror  of  its  deplorable  and  unspeakable  vileness. 
Truly  Satan's  seat  is  here. 

364  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

She  thought  Morocco  the  darkest  spot  of  the  world 
she  had  seen  :  corrupt  and  immoral  to  an  extent  she 
had  not  seen  in  heathen  lands.  For  the  common 
Mohammedan  religion  was,  she  thought — 

at  once  the  curse  of  Morocco,  and  the  most  formid- 
able obstacle  in  the  way  of  progress,  chaining  all 
thought  in  the  fetters  of  the  seventh  century,  steeping 
its  votaries  in  the  most  intolerant  bigotry  and  the 
narrowest  conceit,  and  encouraging  fanaticism  which 
regards  with  approval  the  delirious  excesses  of  the 
Aissawa  and  the  Hamdusha. 

As  to  government,  she  says,  practically  there  is  none. 

The  Sultan  has  no  power  over  much  of  the  Empire ; 
he  cannot  collect  taxes,  punish  crime,  secure  the  safety 
of  goods  and  travellers,  or  even  pass  himself  ijrom 
Morocco  city  to  Fez  by  a  direct  route.  .  .  .  Life  is  of 
no  account.  Much  as  I  had  heard  of  the  misgovern- 
ment  of  Morocco,  I  was  not  prepared  to  find  the  reality 
far  worse  than  reported,  or  for  the  consensus  of  opinion 
among  Arabs,  Jews,  and  Europeans  as  to  the  infamies 
of  the  administration  with  which  the  country  is  cursed. 
.  .  ,  "  The  government,"  they  say,  "  is  like  a  fire 
burning  us.'  .  .  .  Alike  in  the  trading  cities  of  the 
coast  and  interior  and  in  the  clusters  of  reed  huts,  or 
brown  tents,  which  are  the  migratory  dwellings  of  the 
agricultural  populations,  the  same  tales  are  told  and 
told  truthfully  ...  of  the  crimes  done  in  the  Sultan's 
name  ...  of  the  intolerable  exactions  at  the  pleasure  of 
the  Kaids,  of  the  absolute  insecurity  of  the  earnings  of 
labour,  of  the  confiscation  of  crops  by  the  Kaids,  of  the 
right  exercised  by  them  liberally  of  throwing  their 
enemies,  and  all  men  rich  enough  to  be  worth  robbing, 
into  dungeons,  the  horrors  of  which  are  well  known 
in  England,  and  of  innumerable  other  wrongs. 

Nor  was  she  hopeful  as  to  the  prospects  of  the 
promised  reforms. 

Reform  in  Morocco  [she  says]  cannot  come  from 
within,  and  any  measure  of  amelioration,  of  her  dis- 
graceful and  deplorable  condition,  must  be  carried  out 


by  men  brought  up  in  other  schools  than  hers,  where 
misgovernment  has  the  sanctity  of  antiquity  and  honest 
men  are  lacking. 

Mrs.  Bishop  and  Mr.  Summers  returned  to  Marakesh 
on  the  24th,  and  left  again  on  April  29,  on  which 
day  she  continued  her  interesting  letter  to  Mrs.  Brown. 

The  journey  of  twenty-one  days  is  over.  The  last 
day  I  rode  thirty  miles  and  walked  two.  Is  it  not 
wonderful  that  even  at  my  advanced  age  this  life 
should  affect  me  thus  ?  My  horse  is  the  great  difficulty ; 
I  have  to  mount  from  a  step-ladder  as  high  as  the 
horse.  It  was  a  splendid  journey;  we  were  enter- 
tained everywhere  at  the  great  castles  of  the  Berber 
sheiks  as  guests  of  the  Sultan.  The  bridle  tracts  on 
the  Atlas  are  awful — mere  rock-ladders,  or  smooth 
faces  of  shelving  rock.  We  lamed  two  horses,  and 
one  mule  went  over  a  precipice,  rolling  over  four 
times  before  he  touched  the  bottom.  We  had  guides, 
soldiers,  and  slaves  with  us.  The  weather  was  dry 
and  bracing.  To-day  I  had  an  interview  with  the 
Sultan  through  the  good  offices  of  Kaid  Maclean.  It 
was  very  interesting,  but  had  to  be  very  secretly 
managed,  for  fear  of  the  fanatical  hatred  to  Christians. 
I  wish  it  could  have  been  photographed — the  young 
Sultan  on  his  throne  on  a  high  dai's,  in  pure  white ; 
the  minister  of  war  also  in  white  standing  at  the  right 
below  the  steps  of  the  throne ;  Kaid  Maclean  in  his 
beautiful  Zouave  uniform  standing  on  the  left  and 
interpreting  for  me  ;  I  standing  in  front  below  the  steps 
of  the  throne,  bare-headed  and  in  black  silk,  the  only 
European  woman  who  has  ever  seen  an  Emperor  of 
Morocco !  as  I  am  the  first  who  has  ever  entered  the 
Atlas  Mountains  and  who  has  ever  visited  the  fierce 
Berber  tribes.  When  I  wished  the  Sultan  long  life  and 
happiness  at  parting,  he  said  that  he  hoped  when  his 
hair  was  as  white  as  mine,  he  might  have  as  much 
energy  as  I  have !  So  I  am  not  quite  shelved  yet !  I 
feel  much  energy  physically  while  the  weather  keeps 
cool  as  now,  but  none  mentally — even  the  writing  a 
note  is  a  burden — so  I  have  very  reluctantly  cancelled 
my  engagements  for  June,  and  begin  a  northward 
journey  of  five  hundred  miles  to  live  in  tents  and  ride ! 
I  now  possess  a  mule  and  a  camel ! 

366  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

Mrs.  Bishop  was  inclined  to  agree,  with  the  French 
Consul-General,  that'much  of  the  intellectual  deteriora- 
tion and  decay  of  the  Arab  race  in  Morocco,  and  much 
of  the  sensuality  and  brutal  passion  which  disfigure 
it,  are  due  to  the  enormous  and  continual  infusion  of 
African  blood  which  was  obvious  everywhere. 

The  Arab  [she  says]  has  lost,  and  is  losing,  the  race 
characteristics  which  he  brought  with  him  from  Asia, 
including  the  energy  of  conquest  and  the  creative 
genius,  which  endowed  Morocco  with  once  beautiful 
buildings,  now  falling  into  unchecked  decay. 

The  Berber  of  the  mountains,  however,  with  his 
narrow  head,  somewhat  classic  features,  tall  and 
active  form — barely  conquered  by  Roman  or  Arab- 
retains  definite  racial  characteristics,  and  she  con- 
sidered them  by  far  the  finest  of  the  races  which 
people  Morocco.  She  says : 

The  Berber  mountaineers  are  a  purer  and  finer  race 
than  the  Arabs.  .  .  .  They  are  energetic,  warlike,  and 
hospitable ;  fanatical  Moslems,  though  most  lax  in 
religious  observances;  given  to  blood-feuds,  tribal 
fighting,  and  manly  games,  and  loving  warfare  above 
all  other  pastimes.  The  women,  except  those  of  the 
highest  class,  are  not  secluded  or  veiled,  and  have  some 
influence  in  their  villages. 

She  kept  a  few  notes  of  her  ride  in  the  Atlas,  but  of 
no  other  portion  of  her  stay  in  Morocco,  the  "  brain- 
fag," of  which  she  complained  in  her  letters,  deterring 
her  from  all  customary  mental  effort.  For  an  account 
of  the  return  ride,  from  Marakesh  to  Tangier,  we  are 
thrown  back  upon  curt  allusions  in  her  letters  and 
the  entries  in  her  diary.  It  lasted  eight  weeks  and 
three  days  (April  30 — June  27) ;  Mogador  and  Saffi 
were  her  first  resting-places,  and  at  each  she  halted 
for  three  days.  The  locusts  were  ravaging  the  land, 


and  sometimes  her  tent  was  full  of  them.  On  May  21 
she  reached  Dar  al  Baida,  where  she  gladly  camped 
in  the  hospital  garden  of  the  Casa  Blanca  for  three 
days.  The  heat  was  great ;  the  plains  were  full  of 
horsemen,  for  the  tribes  were  at  war,  and  mountaineers 
were  descending  to  plunder  caravans. 

Mrs.  Bishop  reached  Fez,  the  northern  capital,  on 
June  8.  Here  she  took  many  photographs,  and  spent 
a  most  interesting  week,  at  the  Consulate.  At  Fez, 
she  says,  which  for  wealth,  trade,  aristocratic  families, 
learning,  and  energy  may  be  regarded  as  the  empire- 
city,  discontent  is  strong.  The  Sultan's  greatest  safe- 
guard, she  thought,  lay  in  his  sacred  character,  as 
lineal  descendant  of  the  prophet  and  head  of  the 
church,  for  there  was  general  dissatisfaction  with 
the  regime  and  inactivity  of  the  Sultan,  with  his 
foolish  expenditure  on  costly  trifles,  and  with  the  time 
spent  by  him  on  frivolous  innovations,  to  the  neglect 
of  his  royal  duties. 

Here  Mr.  Harris,  with  whom  she  stayed  at  the 
Consulate,  joined  her  caravan,  and  they  rode  together 
through  a  region  disturbed  with  rumours  of  tribal  war. 
At  Dar,  they  were  obliged  to  leave  the  main  route,  on 
which  a  caravan  had  been  attacked  and  robbed,  but 
they  reached  Wazam  in  safety  and  halted  for  four  days. 
While  she  was  in  Wazam,  she  says — 

some  mountaineers  abducted  a  young  girl  and  her 
brother,  and  carried  them  off  to  the  mountains,  where 
neither  Sultan  nor  Grand  Shereef  has  any  authority. 
The  girl  was  sold  to  be  trained  as  a  dancing  girl,  and  her 
captors  refused  to  give  her  up  except  under  conditions 
which  no  self-respecting  power  could  accept.  It  is  vain 
to  demand  of  Morocco  a  daily  indemnity  till  she  is 
restored,  and  stronger  measures  are  not  likely  to  alter 
what  is  really  the  gist  of  the  situation,  that  the  Sultan 
has  no  power  over  the  mountain  tribes. 

368  LAST  JOURNEYS  [CHAP,  xiv 

An  instance  of  the  practice  of  brutal  cruelties  was 
told  to  her  on  good  authority,  as  occurring  during  her 
visit  in  Southern  Morocco,  and,  she  says,  it  admits  of 
no  question. 

A  high  Court  official  was  reported,  truly  or  falsely, 
as  having  spoken  disparagingly  of  the  Sultan,  and 
an  order  was  signed  for  him  to  be  thrown  into 
the  Mogador  prison.  Before  leaving  Morocco  the 
palm  of  the  culprit's  hand  was  deeply  gashed  with 
two  cross  cuts,  and  a  stone  was  inserted  in  the 
intersection,  the  hand  being  afterwards  stitched  up  in 
a  piece  of  raw  hide,  the  shrinking  of  which  produces 
great  agony.  Mercifully,  gangrene  supervened,  and 
the  victim  died  on  the  road  to  Mogador.  The  infliction 
of  this  punishment,  either  by  placing  a  stone  or  salt 
and  quicklime  in  the  gashed  palm,  renders  the  hand 
useless  for  life. 

On  June  24,  with  the  thermometer  at  104°,  they 
rode  on,  provided  with  an  armed  escort,  to  the  farm  of 
Mulai-el-Arbi,  and  were  glad  to  rest  till  the  following 
evening.  They  were  now  only  two  days'  march  from 
Tangier,  but  on  the  26th  were  pursued  by  a  party  of 
armed  and  mounted  Arabs,  and  had  to  ride  for  their 
lives  through  the  hills  till  within  three  hours  of 
Tangier.  When  the  Arabs  gave  up  the  chase, 
Mrs.  Bishop  had  to  be  lifted  from  "  Saracen  "  and  laid 
upon  the  ground  with  a  cushion  under  her  head. 
When  she  reached  Tangier  Dr.  Roberts  attended  her, 
till  she  was  well  enough  to  leave  for  Gibraltar,  on  July  8. 

On  the  whole,  Mrs.  Bishop  benefited  by  her  long 
rides  in  Morocco.  Tent  life  always  suited  her,  and  in 
spite  of  alarms  she  enjoyed  the  absolute  novelty 
of  her  experiences.  Without  alarms  and  difficulties 
she  would  probably  have  accounted  her  venture  a 


"I    AM    GOING    HOME" 

MRS.  BISHOP  went  to  Houghton,  on  her  return  from 
Morocco,  and  seems  to  have  regarded  the  Elms  as 
her  home  rather  than  Hartford  Hurst,  where  that 
summer  she  slept  only  one  night— on  August  13. 
The  house  had,  as  yet,  no  associations  to  draw  her  to 
it  as  to  a  home,  and  at  the  Elms  she  found  unwearied 
care  and  tenderness,  the  beauty  of  grassy  glades  filled 
with  flowers,  the  song  of  birds,  a  "chamber  of  the 
sunrise"  which  was  kept  for  her,  and  the  unvexed 
tranquillity  of  tested  friendship. 

Mrs.  Bishop  paid  many  visits  during  July  and 
August,  then  travelled  north  to  Peterculter,  to  spend 
six  weeks  with  the  Miss  Kers,  on  the  River  Dee,  and 
with  other  friends  in  the  north.  On  the  whole  she  rested, 
and  enjoyed  her  rest.  Her  article  on  Morocco,  for  The 
Monthly  Review,  was  written  just  before  she  began 
another  arduous  round  of  missionary  addresses.  She 
writes : 

I  had  to  go  on  to  Sheffield  to  give  twelve 
lectures  on  China,  New  Japan,  and  Morocco,  and 
thence  to  the  Bishop  of  Wakefield's,  to  lecture  in 
seven  of  the  Yorkshire  towns,  and  afterwards  here, 
there,  and  everywhere,  having  actually  given  forty-five 
lectures  and  addresses  since  October  17.  I  have 
only  slept  once  in  my  own  house  for  thirteen  months ! 

On  December  10  she  continues : 

I  shall  never  cease  to  grieve  over  having  given  up 
The  Cottage.  No  house  without  memories  and  asso- 

369  24 

370  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

ciations  can  ever  be  home  to  me,  and  I  liked  the  free, 
quaint  winter  life,  and  going  over  to  Aros  on  stormy 
afternoons,  and  being  able  to  help  the  really  poor. 

But  a  great  loss  befell  her  while  she  was  lecturing 
at  Sheffield.  Between  the  spells  of  her  public  work, 
she  was  wont  to  return  to  Houghton.  She  was  there 
from  October  12  to  the  i6th,  and  spent  her  seventieth 
birthday  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Brown.  On  the  i6th 
Mr.  Brown  sat  out-of-doors  for  some  hours  watching 
the  gardener  fill  the  grass  with  bulbs  for  next  spring — 
daffodils,  narcissus,  hyacinths,  and  tulips.  It  was 
damp,  and  he  caught  a  chill,  and  died  on  the  24th. 
She  hastened  south  and  went  to  his  funeral  on  the 
29th,  spending  four  hours  afterwards  with  her  bereaved 
friend,  and  returning  to  town  to  Mrs.  Palmer  in  the 

On  November  i,  she  drove  over  to  Fulham  Palace 
to  fulfil  an  engagement  made  some  months  earlier. 
She  had  made  the  Bishop  of  London's  acquaintance 
through  their  mutual  friend  Mrs.  Palmer,  and  the 
acquaintance  ripened  rapidly  to  friendship.  She  stayed 
five  days  at  Fulham — quiet,  happy  days,  during  which 
she  did  her  morning's  writing  sometimes  in  the 
Bishop's,  sometimes  in  Mr.  Cronshaw's,  study.  When 
the  Bishop  was  at  home  they  had  long  talks  by  the 
fire — on  death  and  life's  purposes,  and  other  deep 
matters  of  the  spirit.  Dr.  Winnington  Ingram 
remembers  how  industriously  she  developed  and 
perfected  her  photographs,  still  taking  lessons  to 
increase  her  skill,  and  making,  in  1901,  £60  towards  the 
support  of  the  doctor  in  the  Mission  Hospital  at 
Paoning-fu.  He  was  impressed  too  by  the  pains  she 
took  to  interest  him  in  a  friend,  who  had  recently  lost 
his  wife,  and  whose  grief  was  to  some  extent  rendering 
him  indifferent  to  life's  claims.  He  found  her,  in  all 

i9oi]  AT  FULHAM   PALACE  371 

her  varied  and  delightful  talk,  "  sympathetic,  tolerant, 
and  taking  complex  views  which  saved  her  from 
narrowness."  The  first  week  of  that  November  was 
very  foggy ;  and  on  the  3rd,  when  she  returned  to  the 
palace  from  seeing  a  friend  off,  the  fog  was  so  dense 
that,  in  the  obscurity,  she  ran  up  against  the  wall  of  the 
palace  and  was  badly  stunned.  The  Bishop  teased 
her  about  having  "just  escaped  coming  to  an  end 
of  all  her  long  travels,  at  Fulham." 

This  visit  was  followed  by  a  brief  return  to  Houghton, 
and  then  she  began  another  continuous  missionary 
campaign,  which  included  Wakefield,  Halifax,  Barnsley, 
Dewsbury,  Sowerby  Edge,  Huddersfield,  Wimbledon, 
Reading,  Peterborough,  Tattenhall,  Manchester, 
Lancaster,  Swinton,  Macclesfield,  and  Rugby. 

It  was  probably  on  this  journey  that  she  crushed 
her  right  thumb,  in  the  hinge  of  a  railway-carriage 
door.  She  had  an  adventurous  winter  journey 
between  Ford  Hall  and  Macclesfield. 

Mine  was  the  last  train  [she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Palmer] 
which  got  through  the  snowdrifts  in  the  Peak,  and 
to-day  no  passengers  are  booked.  With  men  cutting 
the  drifts  in  the  park,  and  a  number  of  horses — perhaps 
eight — dragging  the  brougham  up  the  hill,  and  the 
hurricane  which  threatened  to  overturn  it — it  was 
most  exciting.  Then  we  were  three  hours  going 
seventeen  miles,  and  were  twice  put  out  in  knee-deep 
snow ;  and  when  we  got  here,  where  I  had  to  give  a 
lecture,  there  were  no  cabs  at  the  station.  There  is 
a  wild  state  of  excitement  here.  Macclesfield  is  quite 
cut  off  from  all  telegraph  communication,  and  hardly 
any  trains  are  running. 

On  her  return  from  this  tour  she  stayed  four  days 
with  Mrs.  Palmer,  and  on  one  of  these  I  spent  a 
couple  of  afternoon  hours  with  her.  She  looked  white 
and  still,  but  was  full  of  interest  in  all  my  work  and 
anxious  about  my  health.  Of  herself  she  spoke  as 

372  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

holding  on  to  life  precariously,  as  working  while  it 
was  day,  conscious  of  the  gathering  twilight.  Houghton 
and  Reigate  filled  up  the  last  ten  days  of  1901. 

Mrs.  Bishop  began  her  diary  for  1902  with  the  lines : 

Upon  a  life  I  did  not  live, 
Upon  a  death  I  did  not  die — 

Another's  life — another's  death — 
I  stake  my  whole  eternity. 

She  was  at  Reigate  till  January  18,  and  this  pro- 
longed rest  partially  fitted  her  for  a  period  of  activity 
in  lecturing,  paying  visits,  and  entertaining  visitors. 
She  was  occasionally  at  Hartford  Hurst  for  the  last 
purpose,  but  more  frequently  at  lodgings  in  London, 
where  her  time  was  divided  detween  mornings  spent 
in  taking  advanced  photographic  lessons  at  the 
Polytechnic — chiefly  in  enlarging  photographs — and 
in  afternoon  and  evening  engagements  of  every  kind. 

It  is  impossible  to  do  more  than  single  out,  of  their 
multitude,  a  few  of  the  more  interesting  of  these 
occasions.  Her  right  thumb  was  still  swollen,  and 
gave  her  considerable  trouble  for  about  six  months, 
when  it  was  cured  by  a  slight  operation.  This  made 
writing  difficult,  so  we  find  that  her  literary  faculty 
was  but  scantily  exercised,  and  was  only  occupied 
that  winter  with  an  illustrated  paper  for  the  January 
Leisure  Hour,  and  with  four  letters  to  The  Daily 
Chronicle,  all  on  the  subject  of  Morocco.  Mrs.  Bishop 
wrote  to  Mrs.  Bullock  on  January  6 : 

I  have  not  slept  in  my  own  house,  but  purpose  to 
return  to  it  on  January  17.  I  intended  to  go  to  China 
last  October,  but  gave  it  up,  partly  because  of  the 
unsettled  state  of  the  country,  and  partly  because,  had 
I  gone,  I  feared  that  I  should  lose  touch  with  English 
interests  and  friends  altogether.  But  if  I  have  strength 
enough  for  travelling,  I  hope  to  go  to  China  in  the 
early  autumn,  but  it  will  be  very  different  without  you 
and  Mr.  Bullock. 


In  a  letter  of  later  date,  written  to  Sir  Walter 
Hillier,  she  gave  some  particulars  of  the  journey 
contemplated  : 

I  had  fully  purposed  to  travel  by  the  Jung-ting  Lake 
to  Kwei-chou,  thence  to  Tali-fu,  and  thence  to  Kia- 
ting-fu  on  the  Yangtze ;  but  it  is  very  uncertain  now, 
for  I  have  been  going  down  ever  since  October. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bullock  were  now  settled  at  Oxford, 
where  Mrs.  Bishop  paid  them  a  visit  from  March  6 
to  10,  on  the  first  of  which  days  she  spoke,  at  Trinity 
Hall,  on  missions.  She  had  already  been  at  Oxford 
on  February  10,  and  had  then  addressed  two  meetings, 
one  at  Hannington  Hall,  and  one  at  the  Town 
Hall.  But  while  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bullock  she 
rested,  and  enjoyed  meeting  their  interesting 
visitors,  the  Vice-Chancellor,  Principal  Fairbairn,  the 
Margoliouths,  and  others. 

But  the  most  interesting  of  all  her  lecture  engage- 
ments, in  March,  :was  one  to  Winchester  School  on 
Friday,  the  2ist.  She  described  the  occasion  in  a 
letter  to  Mrs.  Bullock,  whose  son  was  at  Winchester : 

Dr.  Burge  gave  an  excellent  account  of  him.  I  was 
so  sorry  not  to  see  him ;  he  must  have  been  in  deep 
shadow.  It  was  a  delightful  audience,  full  of  the 
blessed  enthusiasm  of  youth.  They  say  that  my 
lecture  lasted  two  hours,  but  the  lantern  slides 
accounted  for  three-quarters  of  an  hour.  I  very  much 
enjoyed  lecturing,  and  thought  Dr.  Burge  charming. 

From  Winchester  she  went  home  to  Hartford 
Hurst,  and  was  almost  immediately  seized  with 
influenza,  which  kept  her  indoors  for  a  fortnight  and 
left  her  very  weak,  but  this  did  not  prevent  her 
going  to  London  on  April  7,  to  take  more  lessons 
in  photography.  While  convalescent  at  the  Hurst, 
she  took  up  her  old  occupation  of  gardening,  sowed 

374  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

seeds,  and  rolled  the  lawn.  She  was  busy,  too,  with 
one  of  her  most  important  missionary  addresses, 
"Where  are  the  Women?"  which  she  delivered  at 
Holloway  College,  Egham,  on  April  10,  at  a  meeting 
presided  over  by  Dr.  Marshall  Lang.  The  girl 
students  presented  her  with  an  address  of  thanks 
that  evening,  signed  with  their  names.  The  occasion 
for  which  her  address  was  prepared  was  a  conference, 
the  meetings  of  which  she  enjoyed  so  much  that  at 
their  close  she  entered  in  her  diary:  "Very  sorry  for 
the  break-up ;  conference  quite  delightful ;  I  think 
I  shall  never  be  at  another."  She  was  indeed 
seriously  ill. 

I  learn  [she  wrote  on  May  18]  that  I  am  threatened 
with  a  serious  and  fatal  malady.  I  want  to  be  sure  of 
the  truth,  and,  though  I  am  so  weak  that  I  cannot  sit 
up  at  a  table,  I  purpose  to  start  to-morrow  and  travel 
by  easy  stages  to  Edinburgh,  in  order  to  see  my  old 
doctors,  who  know  my  constitution.  I  am  not  dis- 
tressed, though  there  are  some  things  that  I  should 
like  to  see  out. 

On  Saturday,  the  24th,  she  reached  Edinburgh,  saw 
Dr.  Ritchie  on  the  26th,  and  Sir  Halliday  Croom  and 
Dr.  Ritchie  on  the  2/th.  Both  took  a  very  grave  view 
of  her  condition.  A  fibrous  tumour  was  enlarging 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  lungs  and  heart,  the  old 
symptoms  of  heart  disease  were  reappearing.  She 
stayed  with  Miss  Cullen  at  15  Greenhill  Gardens, 
and  was  much  comforted  by  the  affectionate  devotion 
of  this  most  valued  friend.1  It  was  a  quiet  time  for 
meditation  and  realisation.  She  saw  few  people, 
sometimes  walked  or  drove  with  Miss  Cullen,  and 
returned  to  England  and  Hartford  Hurst  on  June  21. 

It   is   startling   to  find  her  with   Mrs.   Palmer  at 

1  Miss  Cullen  passed  away  early  in  1906. 

i9oa]  BROKEN   HEALTH  375 

10  Grosvenor  Crescent  on  the  23rd.  The  country 
was  plunged  into  gloom  and  anxiety  by  the  King's 
illness,  and  Mrs.  Bishop  deeply  shared  the  general 
distress.  She  returned  to  the  Hurst-  for  a  few  days, 
and  then  went  first  to  Mount  Street  to  the  Miss  Kin- 
nairds,  and,  on  July  7,  to  Cambridge  for  a  photographic 
convention,  which  lasted  five  days.  She  went  home 
on  the  1 2th,  and  her  beloved  old  friends  the  Miss  Kers 
came  to  her  on  the  i6th.  Their  visit  was  an  induce- 
ment to  stay  at  home  till  August  6,  when  they  left, 
and  she  entered  in  her  diary — "  so  sad  to  lose  them." 

On  the  Qth  she  watched  the  coronation  procession 
from  Mr.  Murray's  windows,  and  then  paid  some 
visits,  before  returning  to  the  Hurst  for  five  weeks. 
During  this  time  she  went  early  to  bed,  resting  a 
great  deal — did  little  indeed  but  print,  tone,  and 
enlarge  photographs,  water  the  newly  planted 
creepers  which  had  come  from  the  cottage  in  Tober- 
mory,  and  sew.  But  she  was  packing  for  China  by 
fits  and  starts.  After  a  time  of  rest  she  felt  better  ; 
and  she  had  so  often  developed  resources  of  endurance, 
in  spite  of  the  warnings  and  verdict  of  her  doctors, 
that  she  still  cherished  a  hope  in  favour  of  the  expedi- 
tion. They  were  to  give  her  a  final  opinion  in 
September,  and  she  travelled  north  to  see  them  on  the 
25th,  joined  the  Miss  Kers  for  a  fortnight,  and  then 
went  for  a  month  to  be  with  Miss  Cullen.  She  saw 
Dr.  Ritchie  constantly,  and  decided  to  give  up  the 
Hurst,  as  he  and  his  colleagues  agreed  that  the 
situation  close  to  the  Ouse,  the  over-flowings  and 
mists  from  which  saturated  soil  and  atmosphere, 
rendered  the  house  unwholesome  and  devitalising. 

On  her  way  home  she  lectured  at  Sunderland, 
Gateshead,  and  Durham,  and  paid  a  very  pleasant 
four  days'  visit  to  her  cousins  at  Knaresborough.  The 

376  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

Miss  Kers  joined  her  at  the  Hurst,  early  in  December, 
and  helped  her,  all  that  month  and  January,  to  prepare 
for  leaving  Hartford  finally  on  February  i.  An 
opportunity  for  letting  the  house  had  occurred,  and 
she  surrendered  her  lease  to  Dr.  Baker,  who  agreed  to 
take  possession  then.  During  these  two  months, 
therefore,  she  and  her  friends  were  busy  cataloguing 
books  and  linen,  packing  curios  and  china,  dismantling 
the  house  she  had  used  so  little. 

A  letter  to  Mrs.  Allan  dated  December  23,  1902, 
gives  some  account  of  her  feelings  at  the  time : 

I  returned  from  Edinburgh  three  weeks  ago,  and  am 
now  confined  to  bed,  so  I  can  only  make  a  very  brief 
reply  to  your  delightful  and  most  interesting  letter. 
All  your  news  I  appreciate  heartily.  I  saw  several 
Tobermory  people  in  Edinburgh,  and  always  feel  the 
deepest  interest  in  Tobermory.  I  often  wish  I  were 
looting  down  from  my  sunny  cottage  on  the  little  bay, 
or  fighting  my  way  to  Aros  on  some  stormy  winter 
afternoon.  I  was  so  sorry  that  I  could  not  visit  you  at 
Aros,  as  you  kindly  wished  last  summer.  I  have  been 
seriously  ill  ever  since  last  April,  and  mostly  in  Edin- 
burgh for  medical  advice;  but  as  the  doctors  decide 
that  nothing  can  be  done,  I  came  home  three  weeks 
ago  and  have  been  considerably  worse.  The  doctors 
urged  me  strongly,  on  the  ground  of  the  soft  climate 
and  the  size  of  the  house,  to  give  up  my  lovely  home, 
and  I  must  be  out  of  it  by  February  i.  It  has  such  a 
lovely  garden,  and  grounds  sloping  to  the  broad  deep 
river — an  old-world  place,  to  which  I  have  become 
attached,  but  it  is  fitter  for  a  large  family  than  for  me. 
Leaving  it  has,  however,  nothing  of  the  pain  it  gave 
me  to  leave  Tobermory.  Most  of  my  things  will  be 
dispersed,  as  I  am  not  likely  to  have  a  house  again, 
and  they  will  be  useful  to  many  people.  I  am  so  glad 
to  get  such  a  good  account  of  the  V.W.C.A.  Branch. 
It  is  the  one  flourishing  thing  in  Tobermory!  I 
enclose  my  subscription  to  it  and  the  nurse. 

Blair  (Mrs.  Williamson)  said  in  speaking  of  those 
last  months : 

1903]        LEAVING  HARTFORD  HURST         377 

The  longest  stay  Mrs.  Bishop  ever  made  at  the 
Hurst  was  when  she  packed  up  to  leave  it,  and  she 
grew  more  attached  to  it  then  than  at  any  time  during 
the  four  years  she  held  it. 

On  January  23  she  moved  to  the  Elms,  where  for 
a  week  she  slept,  going  over  to  the  Hurst  daily  to 
superintend  Whiteley's  men,  until  this  troublesome 
removal  was  over.  It  was  not  till  February  2  that  she 
was  released  from  its  toil,  and  went  to  stay  a  few  days 
with  the  Miss  Kinnairds,  before  settling  in  the  wretched 
lodgings  in  London,  which  she  had  unfortunately 
engaged,  and  from  which,  after  six  weeks'  endurance, 
she  changed  to  Lexham  Gardens. 

A  letter  to  Mrs.  Mooyaart  (March  25)  gives  a 
glimpse  of  her  discomfort  in  town  and  of  her  relief 
during  a  short  visit  to  her  correspondent  at  East- 

Bessie  came  up  on  Friday  and  again  on  Saturday. 
She  brought  sunshine  with  her  and  left  my  rooms 
dark.  She  brought  food  too !  I  managed  with 
difficulty  to  get  away  on  Monday  evening  and  came 
for  a  few  days'  rest  to  the  Miss  Kinnairds.  I  have 
taken  on  trial  the  rooms  at  Lexham  Gardens,  which 
you  marked  as  superior,  and  propose  to  go  there  on 
Friday.  It  was  a  grievous  change  from  the  loving 
shelter  of  your  roof,  to  the  solitude  and  squalid  neglect 
of  my  lodgings,  to  say  nothing  of  vile  food  which  I 
could  not  even  taste  after  Mary  s  nice  cooking  and  the 
dainty  serving.  I  am  forgetting  the  pain  and  re- 
member only  the  peaceful  rest  of  those  days,  and  your 
dear,  bright  presence,  and  the  serene  and  blessed  com- 
munion, all  forming  an  oasis  in  a  life  which  has  not  so 
much  of  brightness.  Thank  you,  dear  friend,  for  all 
your  loving-kindness.  You  never  suffered  me  to  feel 
that  my  misfortune  £one  of  her  sudden  attacks  of  pain] 
was  putting  you  to  inconvenience,  though  I  know  full 
well  that  it  did.  It  was  a  sweet  time  to  me,  and  the 
reading  of  dear  Alexina's  life  is  a  very  precious  part  of 
it.  I  fear  I  am  not  strong  enough  for  even  the  quietest 

378  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

life  in  London,  at  least  in  lodgings ;  yet  I  like  the 
interests  here  so  much  and  the  little  work  that  I 
can  do. 

The  "  life  "  alluded  to  consisted  of  some  reminiscences 
written  before  her  death  by  Miss  Alexina  Ker,  one 
of  those  friends  with  whom  Miss  Clayton  had  lived, 
and  whose  house  had  been  a  second  home  to  Mrs. 
Bishop.  These  reminiscences  embraced  especially 
nineteen  years'  work,  with  Miss  de  Broen,  in  the 
Belleville  Mission.  A  great  friendship  had  existed 
between  Alexina  Ker  and  Mrs.  Mooyaart. 

Mrs.  Bishop  lingered  in  London  till  August,  as 
her  new  lodgings  were  quite  comfortable.  But  her 
public  work  had  to  be  cut  down.  Towards  the  end 
of  April,  she  was  occupied  with  the  making  of  her 
will,  which  was  duly  signed  on  May  i.  She  had 
ever  considered  herself  the  steward  of  her  capital, 
bound  to  invest  it  to  the  best  advantage,  that  she 
might  draw  from  it  an  income  which  enabled  her  to 
assist  the  societies  in  which  she  was  interested,  and 
to  support  her  own  hospitals.  But  besides,  she  kept 
a  well-filled  purse,  for  the  purpose  of  giving  away 
money,  privately,  when  she  came  in  contact  with  the 
needs  of  others,  and  this  purse  was  supplied  by 
cutting  down  her  own  personal  expenses  to  the 
uttermost.  No  one,  not  even  those  most  with  her, 
knew  in  what  directions  this  money  was  distributed, 
for  she  tried  to  live  "  on  evangelical  lines,"  and  as  little 
as  possible  to  let  her  left  hand  know  what  her  right 
hand  gave.  Her  will,  when  it  came  to  be  generally 
known,  illustrated  this  deep-lying  principle. 

Amongst  the  friends  whom  she  saw  most  often  were 
Mrs.  Palmer,  Mrs.  Bickersteth,  Mrs.  J.  R.  Green,  Miss 
Kinnaird,  the  Bishop  of  London,  Sir  Walter  Hillier, 
Mr.  Cronshaw.  She  was  twice  at  the  House  of 

1903]       LAST  RESIDENCE   IN   LONDON         379 

Commons,  and  took  tea  on  the  Terrace  with  her 
friends.  On  July  8  she  lectured  at  Holloway  College, 
to  eighty  returned  lady  missionaries  of  the  Church 
Missionary  Society,  Mr.  Baring  Gould  being  chair- 
man, and  then  went  home  with  Lady  Meath  to 
Ottershaw,  Chertsey,  writing  thence  to  a  cousin : 

I  am  attempting  a  very  quiet  country  visit  for  the 
first  time  this  year,  my  hosts  being  the  Earl  of  Meath 
and  his  wife.  Quiet  as  it  is,  in  the  heart  of  forest  and 
heather,  the  amount  of  effort  required  in  this  tre- 
mendous heat  is  too  much  for  me,  and  I  purpose  to 
return  to  town  to-morrow  till  August,  when  I  shall  give 
up  my  lodging,  store  my  superfluities  at  Whiteley's, 
and  pay  two  or  three  visits  to  friends  with  whom  I  am 
very  intimate,  on  my  way  to  Edinburgh,  where  my 
doctors  wish  to  see  me  that  they  may  advise  me  as  to 
future  plans.  I  have  not  had  one  of  those  incapacitating 
attacks  of  pain  for  nearly  six  weeks — much  pain  of  a 
less  severe  kind  and  very  much  discomfort.  I  must 
be  stronger  than  I  was  three  months  ago,  because  I 
manage  to  do  more,  though  I  am  the  victim  of  a  constant 
feeling  of  lassitude  and  fatigue,  which,  if  I  did  not 
make  an  effort,  would  keep  me  always  in  bed.  The 
malady  has,  however,  increased.  I  have  been  once  to 
the  communion,  and  could  go  to  church  were  it  not  for 
cramp.  I  attend  some  committees  and  have  been  to 
the  Archbishop's  and  Bishop  of  London's  garden 
parties.  I  don't  want  to  be  an  invalid  before  the  time, 
and  am  trying  to  be  as  plucky  as  possible.  I  know 
that  I  shall  not  be  forsaken  in  any  case,  and  this 
knowledge  makes  me  feel  cheerful  and  calm,  great  as 
is  the  change  in  my  life. 

Another  interest,  of  that  last  residence  in  London, 
was  the  Church  Army,  on  behalf  of  which  she  spoke 
more  than  once. 

Dr.  Ritchie  was  in  town  in  July,  and  saw  her  on  the 
I4th;  his  verdict  was  grave,  and  he  entreated  her 
to  consult  a  London  physician,  of  whose  immediate 
help  she  was  in  great  need.  It  was  impossible  to  be 
in  town  and  to  extricate  herself  from  a  vortex  of 

38o  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

engagements,  so  she  left  for  Houghton  on  August  5, 
after  a  "fearful  hunt"  of  packing,  storing,  bidding 
farewells — last  farewells.  She  was  very  ill  all  the 
time  she  stayed  with  Mrs.  Brown,  more  than  three 
weeks,  and  was  in  bed  or  on  the  sofa,  almost  unable 
to  use  her  feet,  and  with  one  leg  in  agony,  from 

I  have  a  fibroid  tumour  [she  wrote]  which  is 
increasing,  and  the  pressure  of  which,  on  the  yeins  of 
the  right  side,  has  produced  a  blood  clot,  which  has 
been  a  great  risk  to  life,  and  may  produce  others. 

Mrs.  Brown  was  distressed  at  the  necessity  for  her 
journey  to  Edinburgh ;  but  Mrs.  Bishop  wished  to  be 
under  Dr.  Ritchie's  care,  so  she  left  Houghton  on 
August  29,  accompanied  by  a  nurse  as  far  as  Peter- 
borough, from  which  station  she  travelled  to  Knares- 
borough,  where  her  cousins  met  her.  She  enjoyed  the 
two  days  spent  with  them.  On  Monday,  the  3ist, 
the  Miss  Kers  met  her  and  took  charge  of  her  to 
Edinburgh.  She  had  consented  to  go  for  a  short  time 
to  a  Nursing  Home  at  n  Manor  Place,  and  there, 
almost  immediately  after  her  arrival,  she  became  very 
seriously  ill.  On  September  i  a  consultation  was 
held,  at  which  Dr.  Gibson,  Dr.  Fordyce,  Dr.  Affleck, 
and  Dr.  Ritchie  were  all  present.  She  was  almost 
unconscious,  and  this  condition  lasted  for  some  days 
and  was  succeeded  by  dangerous  symptoms,  from 
which  she  was  hardly  expected  to  recover. 

A  touching  letter  to  Mrs.  J.  R.  Green,  dated 
October  25,  1903,  gives  some  account  of  this  illness  : 

This  is  my  first  line  since  August  15.  I  have  been 
walking  through  the  valley  of  death's  shadow,  and  the 
doctors  consider  me  still  dangerously  ill  and  without 
hope  of  recovery  or  prolonged  life.  My  illness  seized 
me  on  arriving.  Some  singular  affection  of  the  veins 

1903]  SERIOUS  ILLNESS  381 

and  heart  not  previously  known.  One  feature  is  blue 
rings  and  broken  veins  all  over  my  heart  and  chest. 
Breath  often  nearly  ceases,  and  there  is  no  strength. 
My  brain  is  quite  clear.  I  cannot  think  that  the  end 
can  be  far  off.  I  have  all  my  old  interests  and  daily 
new  ones,  and  am  not  depressed,  for  I  believe  that 
mercy  and  goodness  will  follow  me,  as  they  have  done, 
all  the  days  of  my  life,  and  that  we  poor  stumbling 
children  of  humanity  will  have  some  better  thing 

After  two  months  at  the  Nursing  Home,  she  said 
one  day :  "  I  am  not  going  to  be  a  cipher  any  longer," 
and  it  was  decided  to  remove  her  to  rooms  at 
Bruntsfield  Terrace,  chosen  for  her  by  Miss  Cullen, 
and  close  to  her  house.  On  October  30,  Miss 
Mackenzie  lending  her  carriage,  she  was  gently  driven 
there,  accompanied  by  Miss  Bessie  Ker  and  the  nurse. 
Just  before  her  removal,  she  dictated  a  letter  to  Sir 
Walter  Hillier,  from  which^we  learn  that,  though  she 
had  improved,  she  was  still  seriously  ill,  and  that  she 
suffered  much  from  weakness  of  the  eyes.  She  could 
read  very  little  and  disliked  being  read  to,  but  she 
kept  up  her  interest  in  the  main  events  of  home  and 
Eastern  politics,  and,  as  Dr.  Ritchie  was,  fortunately, 
a  politician,  could  talk  them  over  with  him. 

In  another  letter  to  Sir  Walter  Hillier,  written  by 
Miss  Ker,  on  November  4,  we  read : 

Mrs.  Bishop  enjoys  the  higher  situation  and  more 
open  view  of  these  rooms.  The  doctor  would  be  glad 
for  her  to  go  out  for  an  occasional  drive,  but  she  must 
be  carried  downstairs,  as  well  as  up,  and  dislikes  it  so 
much  that  we  have  not  yet  made  it  out. 

Her  rooms  were  at  the  back  of  the  house,  and  she  could 
see  from  her  bedroom  window — always  kept  open — 
the  Pentland  Hills  beyond  a  foreground  of  trees  and 
gardens.  While  in  bed,  she  looked  on  the  backs  of 

382  "I  AM   GOING  HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

big  houses,  let  in  flats.  But  she  was  interested  in  the 
lives  of  their  tenants,  and  knew  the  ways  of  each 
family,  and  at  what  o'clock  their  members  had  to  get 
up,  and  go  their  several  ways  to  work.  The  drawing- 
room  was  on  the  same  floor  as  her  bedroom,  but  she 
would  rarely  allow  herself  to  be  wheeled  in,  to  see  the 

A  great  and  a  new  difficulty  lay  in  her  dislike  of 
food.  This  was  a  serious  one,  for  her  appetite  was 
capricious.  But  Miss  Cullen  brought  dainty  dinners 
nearly  every  day,  and  friends,  far  and  near,  sent  game 
and  other  delicacies  to  tempt  her. 

After  three  weeks  she  could  write  to  some  of  her 
friends.  A  letter  dated  November  18  is  to  Mrs. 
Macdiarmid : 

MY  BELOVED  CHILD, — Your  chicken  was  quite 
delicious,  almost  the  only  thing  I  have  enjoyed  during 
this  long  illness.  And  your  sweet  letter,  which  I  was 
not  allowed  to  read  for  weeks  after  it  came,  was  very 
precious  to  me.  I  am  not  allowed  to  write,  but  I  want 
to  tell  you  with  my  own  pen  how  dear  her  child  ever 
is  to  me  and  how  much  I  long  to  see  you  before  I  take 
the  last  solemn  journey. 

And  to  Dr.   and   Mrs.   Main,  in  China,  she    writes 
(November  30) : 

I  have  been  ill  for  two  years,  ever  since  I  came  back 
from  Morocco,  and  all  this  year  seriously  ill,  and  for  the 
last  sixteen  weeks  laid  up  dangerously  ill,  and  I  am  still 
in  so  critical  a  state  that  I  am  not  allowed  to  stand,  or 
stoop,  or  reach  anything  that  I  need.  On  September  i 
I  became  so  exhausted  that  four  doctors  and  three 
nurses  had  much  trouble  in  keeping  my  heart  going, 
and  now  thrombosis  has  assailed  another  vein.  I  tell 
you  all  these  particulars  to  account  for  my  painful 
silence.  ...  I  know,  dear  friends,  you  will  forgive  me, 
especially  as  my  explanation  is  accompanied  by  £2$, 
for  the  most  clamant  of  your  new  enterprises.  I  read 
every  word  you  write  with  deep  interest,  and  recall 

i9o3]  SOME  LAST  LETTERS  383 

those  golden  days  of  my  visit  to  you,  when  your  work 
took  so  strong  a  hold  on  me,  and  the  charms  of 
Hangchow  and  its  beautiful  neighbourhood.  .  .  . 
Though  I  have  been  growing  worse  and  weaker  all  this 
year,  I  had  planned  a  journey  to  China  by  the  Trans- 
Siberian  railway,  halting  at  Mukden  and  then  going  to 
Peking  on  a  two  months'  visit  to  Sir  Ernest  Satow. 
You  may  be  sure  that  my  after-plan  included  a  short 
visit  to  you  at  Hangchow.  My  heart  was  greatly  set 
on  this,  and  when  I  left  London,  I  left  there  my 
luggage  packed  for  Peking,  intending  to  pick  it  up  on 
the  6th.  I  got  here  and  think  it  more  than  likely 
that  my  next  journey  will  be  to  the  grave  of  my 
kindred  in  the  Dean  Cemetery.  My  public  work  went 
on  till  I  could  no  longer  stand.  My  brain  is  clear  and 
capable,  and  I  could  do  literary  work  were  it  not  for 
the  physical  labour  of  writing.  These  few  lines  have 
taken  parts  of  twenty-one  days.  You  cannot  imagine 
my  disappointment  about  China.  It  captivated  and 
enthralled  me  and  I  did  hope  to  see  it  once  again.  It 
is  harder  to  give  up  than  all  else.  Medical  mission 
affairs  are  going  on  well  under  Dr.  Ritchie's  most 
capable  presidentship.  On  Friday  there  was  a  great 
function — the  opening  by  Lord  Aberdeen  of  the  com- 
plete and  beautiful  new  buildings  with  recreation 
rooms,  a  gymnasium  and  restaurant,  the  latter  built  by 
Mr.  Barbour  of  Bonskeid.  Missions,  home  and 
foreign,  have  lost  much  by  the  sudden  removal  of 
Mr.  J.  H.  Wilson  of  the  Barclay  Church.  His  funeral 
procession,  which  passed  along  here,  was  the  longest 
I  ever  saw  here.  You  see  that  my  writing  is  failing 
and  I  must  stop.  I  think  much  of  you  and  pray  for 
your  work. 

Mrs.  Bishop  watched  Mr.  Wilson's  funeral,  from 
the  drawing-room  windows,  for  the  longest  time  she 
ever  spent  there. 

The  next  letter  of  the  short  series  written  before 
the  close  of  1903  was  to  Miss  Macdonald,  and  is  dated 
December  7 : 

It  is  so  seldom  that  I  can  sit  up  sufficiently  to  write 
that  I  will  take  advantage  of  having  been  in  bed  all 
day  to  get  up  for  an  hour.  You  have  been  so  good 


384  "-I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

in  writing  me  so  many  interesting  letters  without  one 
reply,  and  I  hope  to  write  to  your  dear  mother  very 
soon.  In  the  meantime,  give  my  best  love  to  her  and 
thanks  for  her  letters.  Also  say  to  her  that  if  she 
must  do  something  for  me  (she  who  has  done  so 
much  !)  I  should  be  delighted  with  a  small  bun.  It 
is  really  the  only  thing  that  I  fancy.  .  .  .  How  many 
congenial  hours  I  have  spent  at  Heanish !  I  think  of 
The  Cottage,  and  of  your  visits  to  me  and  the  daily 
intercourse  between  it  and  Heanish  with  mingled 
pleasure  and  sorrow,  and  yet  I  now  fully  recognise 
the  hand  of  God  leading  me  to  leave  it  when  I  did.  I 
have  been  going  down  of  late,  and  suffer  a  good  deal 
more ;  but  I  am  still  able  to  be  out  of  bed  about  two 
hours  a  day,  but  never  to  be  dressed.  If  you  see 
Mr.  Campbell  tell  him  that  I  shall  be  very  glad  to  see 
him.  When  I  write  this,  I  remember  very  solemnly 
how  at  any  moment  my  sorely  diseased  heart  may 
give  way,  and  I  may  be  in  eternity.  My  work  is  done : 
oh  that  it  had  been  done  better ! 

She  was  able  to  see  a  few  visitors  daily,  and 
amongst  them  Dr.  Whyte,  Dr.  Macgregor,  Canon 
Cowley  Brown,  Mrs.  Lorimer,  and  Miss  Stodart. 
Mr.  Dawson,  of  St.  Peter's,  offered  to  bring  her  the 
communion,  and  she  gratefully  accepted,  for  the 
morning  of  December  10.  She  had  given  up  making 
entries  in  her  diary,  but  she  recorded  this  most 
solemn  event.  Dr.  Whyte's  visits  were  a  joy  and  a 
solace  to  her.  She  said  to  me  one  day  : 

You  and  I  remember  a  very  different  Edinburgh, 
one  where  not  the  purse,  but  the  heart  and  the  brain 
ranked  highest.  I  miss  those  brilliant  people  of  long 
ago  so  much.  One  man  comes  to  see  me  who  recalls 
them  all,  and  is  like  a  voice  from  a  nobler  past,  and 
that  is  Dr.  Whyte,  of  Free  St.  George's. 

Dr.  Whyte,  not  knowing  how  much  she  valued  his 
visits,  writes  : 

I  was  the  invalid  during  those  remarkable  weeks 
and  Mrs.  Bishop  was  the  comforter  and  the  consoler. 

I903]  "THE  ETERNAL  GATE"  385 

Her  intellectual  freshness  and  her  spiritual  ripeness 
and  tenderness  were  a  constant  delectation  to  me. 
Our  talks  were  always  about  books,  old  and  new,  and 
about  the  best  articles  which  were  appearing  in  the 
quarterlies  and  in  the  monthlies  and  in  the  weeklies. 
And  when  I  read  a  Scripture  to  her,  which  was 
usually  of  her  own  selection,  she  would  look  and 
listen  as  if  she  had  never  heard  such  important  and 
such  wonderful  things  before  and  might  not  live  to 
hear  them  again.  She  was  a  woman  of  the  truest 
genius,  and  of  the  greatest  mental  power  of  resource 
to  the  end.  I  always  left  her  room  refreshed  and 
exhilarated.  An  eminent  means  of  grace  and  a  source 
of  real  enjoyment  closed  to  me  when  Mrs.  Bishop 

Mrs.  Bishop  was  sending  out  her  New  Year's  cards 
during  December,  1903.  Whittier's  lines  on  the 
"  Eternal  Gate  "  formed  her  last  pathetic  and  solemn 
message  to  her  friends  : 

The  hour  is  sure,  howe'er  delayed  and  late, 

When  at  the  Eternal  Gate 
We  leave  the  words  and  works  we  call  our  own, 

And  lift  void  hands  alone 
For  love  to  fill.     Our  nakedness  of  soul 

Brings  to  that  gate  no  toll : 
Giftless  we  come  to  Him,  who  all  things  gives, 

And  live  because  He  lives. 
God  grant,  my  friend,  the  service  of  our  days, 

In  differing  moods  and  ways, 
May  prove  to  those  who  follow  in  our  train 

Not  valueless  or  vain. 

Mrs.  Bishop  enclosed  this  card  to  Lady  Middleton 
on  December  31,  and  wrote: 

This  is  my  only  letter,  for  I  am  very  ill,  but  I  must 
tell  you  what  a  joy  it  is  to  be  remembered  by  you, 
and  in  my  own  hand.  I  must  wish  you  and  your 
lord  all  good  things  for  the  coming  year  and  a  con- 
tinuation of  what  you  have  in  such  large  measure — 
plenty  of  congenial  work  and  power  to  do  it.  I  thank 
you  for  your  faithful  affection. 


386  "I   AM   GOING  HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

About  the  same  time  she  wrote  to  Mrs.  Macdonald  : 

I  am  enjoying  your  bun.  I  like  rich  things,  and  it 
is  the  first  I  have  had  for  months.  It  is  deliciously 
made.  I  cannot  write,  and  must  content  myself  this 
day  with  sending  a  little  parcel,  containing  a  Shetland 
vest  for  you,  and  an  electric  flashlight  for  Maggie  to 
see  her  watch  with  at  night.  It  should  be  good  for  a 
thousand  flashes.  The  packet  tied  up  with  a  string  is 
a  refill. 

She  lay  in  bed,  her  limbs  almost  powerless,  her 
hand  hardly  able  to  hold  pen  or  pencil,  but  her  mind 
clear  and  vigorous,  her  mood  tranquil,  awaiting  the 
long-delayed  summons.  Friends  surrounded  her  with 
flowers  and  palms,  in  pots  and  in  vases.  Her  bedroom 
was  filled  with  them.  Sometimes  she  would  hold  the 
fragrant  blossoms  in  her  hand  as  if  she  loved  them, 
talking  about  them  and  their  like  of  other  years— 
the  roses,  tulips,  anemones,  Christmas  roses  of  The 
Cottage,  and,  further  back,  of  Tattenhall  and  Taplow 
Hill.  Her  laughter  was  as  responsive  as  ever;  she 
was  indeed  more  evenly  cheerful  than  in  bygone  years, 
and  her  friends  delighted  to  be  with  her.  Miss  Cullen, 
beloved  and  faithful,  came  daily ;  Miss  Chalmers  and 
Miss  Constance  Shore  were  constant  in  their  visits. 
All  helped  in  the  vexed  question  of  food,  the  only  real 
difficulty  at  this  time.  A  letter  to  Lady  Middleton 
(January  16,  1904)  says : 

You  are  indeed  good  to  wish  to  help  with  my 
provender.  I  have  been  thinking  how  I  could  take 
advantage  of  your  offer,  and  I  will  ask  you  to  send  me 
some  chrysanthemums,  some  pears,  and  a  little  game 
pie  !  I  am  literally  in  danger  of  sinking  from  inanition, 
absolute  loathing  of  food.  Even  a  few  lines  from  you 
brighten  a  day.  1  bless  God  for  your  faithful  friend- 
ship and  for  your  capacity  to  uplift  other  people. 
I  have  never  quite  lost  the  inspiriting  effect  of  a  visit 
you  paid  me  in  Earl's  Terrace  four  years  ago.  I  think 

I904]  VISITORS  387 

I  shall  never  recross  the  Tweed.  You  will  like  to 
know  that  my  spirit  is  brave  and  strong,  that  the 
doctor  says  my  brain  has  "  singular  force,  clearness, 
and  grip,"  and  that  my  interest  in  all  things  is  vivid 
to  a  degree.  If  I  should  be  a  little  stronger,  I  purpose 
to  write  a  fragment  of  autobiography. 

This  purpose  was,  alas  !  never  fulfilled.  The  mere 
act  of  writing  grew  more  and  more  difficult,  till  at 
last  she  could  not  hold  even  a  pencil  for  longer  than 
a  few  seconds  at  a  time.  She  grieved  to  be  unable 
to  answer  letters.  "  People  write  to  me  now," 
she  said,  "  even  though  they  don't  want  anything ! " 
Long  letters  from  Mrs.  Brown,  from  Sir  Walter 
Hillier,  from  acquaintances  who  lived  in  the  mid- 
current  of  political  and  diplomatic  life,  delighted  her. 
Amongst  her  occasional  visitors  were  Mrs.  Keswick, 
Sir  Harry  Parkes's  daughter,  who  twice  took  a 
journey  to  see  her ;  Mrs.  Howard  Taylor  (Geraldine 
Guinness),  who,  to  her  very  great  pleasure,  came  on 
March  30 ;  and  Mr.  Summers,  her  kind  and  efficient 
fellow  traveller  in  Morocco. 

A  longing  to  be  in  London  came  over  her  in  spring, 
but  it  was  decided  that  her  removal,  from  the  constant 
care  of  Dr.  Ritchie,  Sir  Halliday  Croom,  and  Dr. 
Fordyce,  would  be  hazardous,  even  if  the  journey 
were  safely  accomplished  by  ambulance  car.  So 
London  friends,  coming  north  and  going  south  that 
summer,  came  to  see  her,  and  Edinburgh  friends  never 
intermitted  their  ministrations.  Amongst  the  latter 
was  one  who  too  quickly  followed  her  to  the  grave, 
Miss  Flora  Stevenson,  one  of  the  most  brilliant  and 
valuable  citizens  of  the  northern  capital.  She  went 
to  see  Mrs.  Bishop  several  times,  and  was  astonished 
at  her  fortitude,  her  deep  interest  in  all  things  in- 
tellectual and  philanthropic,  in  all  public  questions, 

388  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

and  even  in  social  events.  Even  then  it  was  possible 
to  note  Mrs.  Bishop's  many-sidedness,  her  picturesque- 
ness  of  language,  her  use  of  words  and  epithets 
which  seldom  appear  in  common  discourse.  She 
talked  much  about  the  war  in  the  Far  East,  and  was 
astonished  at  its  course,  and  she  could  not  believe 
that  the  Japanese  successes  would  continue  to  the 
end.  Her  experiences,  in  Manchuria  and  in  Korea, 
had  so  prepossessed  her  in  favour  of  the  Russians 
that  she  did  not  desire  their  ultimate  defeat.  She 
feared  too  that  the  first  check  of  the  West  by  the 
East  might  not  prove  to  be  the  last,  if  the  nations, 
so  long  inert,  were  roused  to  recognise  the  might  of 

I  was  in  Edinburgh  in  May,  1904,  and  saw  her  twice. 
My  visits  were  limited,  by  letter,  to  half  an  hour,  but  she 
detained  me  for  an  hour  and  a  half  on  both  occasions. 
All  obvious  symptoms  of  her  condition  had  dis- 
appeared ;  her  face  was  white  and  clear,  her  eyes 
were  bright  and  cheerful.  She  awaited  the  coming 
of  death  with  serene  and  radiant  expectation.  Her 
window  was  wide  open,  and  the  Pentland  Hills  were 
blue  and  beautiful.  She  held  up  her  white,  delicate 
hands  and  looked  at  them.  "  They  will  not  obey  me 
now,"  she  said,  "  and  oh !  I  have  so  much  to  say  to  the 
world  as  I  lie  here,  for  my  brain  is  strong  and 
thoughts  crowd  upon  each  other  and  I  cannot  write 
them,  for  I  cannot  hold  even  a  pencil  for  more  than 
a  few  moments,  and  I  have  never  been  able  to  dictate." 
She  asked  many  questions  about  my  cottage  and 
garden  at  Kelso.  Then  she  said :  "  I  should  like  you 
to  remember  me  by  flowers,  Anna.  There  were  roses 
and  Christmas  roses,  Madonna  lilies,  tulips,  and 
anemones  in  my  garden  at  Tobermory.  Will  you  have 
all  these  varieties  planted  in  your  garden,  and  when 

1904]  BOOKS  READ  389 

they  blossom  year  by  year,  will  you  remember  me  ?  " 
Need  I  say  that  they  are  all  in  my  garden  ? 

Soon  after  my  second  visit,  the  Miss  Kers  were 
obliged  to  leave  her  for  a  time,  and  her  cousin,  Miss 
Margaret  Lawson,  came  to  take  her  place  during  their 
enforced  absence.  Her  visit  was  a  great  pleasure  to 
Mrs.  Bishop,  and  she  liked  Miss  Lawson  to  go  about, 
and  to  see  all  that  was  interesting  in  Edinburgh,  and 
then  to  give  her  a  full  account  of  the  day's  doings 
when  she  returned.  Miss  Lawson  has  sent  me  some 
reminiscences  of  this  time  which  can  be  quoted : 

I  was  a  month  with  my  dear  cousin  and  very 
pleasant  we  both  found  our  time  together.  She  was 
so  wonderfully  cheerful  and  uncomplaining.  When 
I  said  to  her  how  trying  it  was  for  her  to  be  lying 
there  unable  to  move,  she  said :  "  I  have  never  once 
thought  it  hard  ! "  One  day  I  remarked  how  patient 
she  was,  and  she  answered  :  "  I  am  not  patient ;  I  would 
much  rather  be  going  about."  I  said  her  patient 
bearing  of  what  was  laid  on  her  was  a  greater  work 
in  God's  sight  than  all  the  hospitals  she  had  founded 
and  platform  speeches  she  had  made.  She  seemed  to 
understand  this,  but  would  not  take  any  praise  to 
herself.  She  said  to  me  one  day  :  "  I  never  thought 
very  much  of  myself."  Then  another  day  :  "  I  should 
very  much  like  to  do  something  more  for  people,  but 
I  can  do  nothing." 

She  felt  unable  to  look  down  at  this  time,  and  this 
made  reading  difficult,  but  she  managed  to  read 
Dr.  Whyte's  Scripture  Characters  and  Cicero's  Old  Age 
with  great  enjoyment,  and  could  sometimes  glance 
through  a  story-book  from  the  library. 

I  am  afraid  [writes  Miss  Bessie  Ker]  that  she  felt 
very  much  her  absence  from  London  and  the  being  cut 
off  from  news  of  all  the  committees  in  which  she  had 
taken  part.  She  would  have  liked,  too,  to  be  near 
Whiteley's  Store  and  to  get  out  some  of  her  beloved 

390  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

"  things."  But  it  was  perhaps  mercifully  arranged  so 
as  to  detach  her  from  a  world  in  whose  doings  she 
took  so  lively  an  interest,  and  from  "  things  "  whose 
associations  her  intense  nature  turned  to  with  longing. 
She  had  hankered  after  them,  but  when,  on  one  of  the 
last  days,  I  asked  her  if  she  regretted  them,  she  replied  : 
"  Not  a  spark."  It  was  a  great  loss  to  her  that  we 
were  not  politicians  and  could  not  talk  over  the  papers 
with  her,  but  Dr.  Ritchie  brought  her  all  news  which 
he  thought  would  interest  her. 

Blair  (Mrs.  Williamson)  was  now  with  her,  and 
nursed  her  devotedly.  Several  nurses  had  been 
tried  and  found  wanting,  and  it  was  a  comfort  to 
all  when  Blair  was  installed  in  the  post.  The 
doctors  were  anxious  that  she  should  not  see  so 
many  visitors,  and  on  June  27  she  was  removed  to 
a  Nursing  Home  in  Ainslie  Place,  where,  for  a  short 
time,  the  greater  rest  and  the  novelty  had  a  cheering 
effect  upon  her.  But  she  made  it  a  condition  with 
her  doctors,  that  she  was  not  to  be  "  concussed  "  into 
remaining  there  any  longer  than  she  liked.  The  Miss 
Kers  took  up  their  quarters  at  the  Queen,  a  private 
hotel,  and  saw  her  daily.  Sir  Walter  Hillier  spent 
two  days  in  Edinburgh  expressly  to  see  her.  Feebly, 
and  in  pencil,  she  had  written  to  him  on  July  16: 
"  Your  suggested  plan  will  suit  me  admirably.  I  hope 
to  see  you,  for  a  few  minutes,  on  Saturday  evening  and 
two  or  three  times  on  Sunday."  She  enjoyed  his  visits 
exceedingly  and  often  referred  to  them  afterwards. 

At  times  Lady  Middleton  sent  her  flowers  and  food, 
lilies  of  the  valley,  a  leveret,  a  cream  cheese.  To  her 
she  wrote  : 

It  is  a  marvel  to  me  that  you  can  think  of  the 
culinary  needs  of  the  decaying  casing  of  your  far-off 
"  little  soul."  The  leveret  and  its  stuffing  were 
delicious,  nicer  than  anything  I  have  had  for  nine 
months.  How  I  wish  I  could  write,  for  my  outwardly 

i9o4]  MRS.  BROWN'S  VISIT  391 

dull  life  is  full  of  vivid  interest,  and  I  have  so  much  I 
should  like  to  say  to  your  sympathetic  ears. 

The  improvement  was  more  apparent  than  real ; 
soon  she  sank  into  greater  debility  than  before  her 
change  of  quarters.  It  irked  her  to  be  under  another 
roof  than  were  the  Miss  Kers,  and  she  begged  them 
to  find  rooms  where  they  could  all  be  together.  This 
was  late  in  August,  when  a  niece  of  Dr.  Bishop's 
was  home  from  America,  and  was  paying  them  a 
visit,  and  she  helped  Miss  Bessie  Ker  in  the  hunt 
for  lodgings,  which  were  finally  found  at  18  Melville 
Street,  whither  she  was  driven  in  Miss  Mackenzie's 
carriage  on  September  12.  The  drive  was  so  com- 
fortable and  pleasant  to  her  that  she  wished  it  could 
have  been  prolonged.  She  was  scarcely  installed 
in  her  new  surroundings,  when  a  summons  to  London 
obliged  the  Miss  Kers  to  leave  her,  for  a  week.  Miss 
Lawson  came  again  to  take  their  place,  having  Blair 
and  another  nurse  to  help  her.  Daily  bulletins  were 
sent  to  them  in  London,  but  they  were  far  from 
reassuring,  and  when  their  business  was  despatched 
they  hastened  back,  to  find  her  perceptibly  weaker. 
Mrs.  Brown  arrived,  on  September  28,  for  five  days. 
Her  presence  was  a  joy  to  Mrs.  Bishop,  who,  though 
now  too  feeble  for  conversation,  loved  to  look  on  the 
tender  and  beautiful  face  of  her  trusted  friend.  So 
Mrs.  Brown  sat  long  hours  beside  her  bed,  now  and 
then  exchanging  a  word,  oftener  a  smile.  When  the 
parting  came,  on  October  3,  it  was  tragic  to  both, 
for  both  knew  that  the  hours  were  numbered.  Mrs. 
Bishop  grew  rapidly  worse.  Dr.  Ritchie  felt  that  if 
there  were  anything  left  for  her  to  settle,  it  must  be 
done  at  once.  She  said  :  "  This  seems  to  have  come 
very  quickly,"  and  then  asked  that  the  hymn  "  Abide 
with  me"  might  be  read  to  her. 

392  "I   AM   GOING   HOME"          [CHAP,  xv 

When  the  business  was  over  she  was  relieved,  and 
from  that  moment,  she  set  herself  to  the  glad  welcoming 
of  release. 

Mrs.  Blackie  sent  to  inquire  for  her  on  one  of  those 
days.  "  Tell  her,"  she  said,  "  that  I  am  going  home." 

She  heard  cathedral  bells  ringing  at  times  when  no 
one  else  could  hear  them.  Once  Miss  Bessie  Ker 
asked  her  if  she  liked  cathedrals.  "Yes,"  she  said, 
"  I  think  I  do  :  they  are  so  associated  with  my  child- 
hood." When  Miss  Ker  asked  "which?"  she  said 
"  Chester  "  in  a  tone  of  surprise  that  her  friend  did  not 
know  without  being  told. 

Once  the  word  "  peace "  was  heard  upon  her  lips. 
"  You  have  that,  have  you  not  ? "  asked  her  devoted 
friend.  "  Yes,"  she  murmured,  "  and  it  is  wonderful." 
Then  again :  "  There  are  very  few  who  manage  their 
life  on  evangelical  lines,  for  evangelical  destinies. 
I  have  tried,  but  it  is  very  difficult.  There  can  be 
nothing  new  for  any  of  us ;  all  has  been  revealed,  all 
done,  all  written." 

On  the  morning  of  her  last  day  she  was  heard  to 
pray :  "  Keep  me  this  day  without  sin,  this  day  without 
sin,  THIS  day."  Then  she  turned  to  Miss  Ker :  "  Pray 
that  I  may  have  an  abundant  entrance." 

Later  in  the  morning  she  asked  Blair  to  pray  for 
her,  and  then  said  radiantly :  "  Oh !  what  shouting 
there  will  be!"  It  was  a  family  phrase  for  excited, 
happy  talking  after  separation,  and  her  thoughts  were 
with  the  nearest  and  dearest,  whom  she  was  soon  to 

They  were  her  last  words  on  earth ;  at  five  minutes 
past  midday,  on  October  7,  her  spirit  fled. 

The  funeral  took  place  on  Monday,  October  10.  Her 
cousin,  the  Rev.  James  Grant  Bird,  the  rector  of 
Staleybridge,  shared  with  her  friend,  Canon  Cowley 

Igo4]  THE  LIFE  ETERNAL  393 

Brown,  the  services  in  the  house  and  at  the  grave  in 
Dean  Cemetery,  to  which  she  herself,  during  her  last 
days,  had  made  all  arrangements  to  bring  her  husband's 
coffin,  from  the  cemetery  at  Cannes.  There  some 
members  of  the  Medical  Mission  sang  "Now  the 
labourer's  task  is  o'er." 

Mayhap,  new  tasks  are  set 

The  willing  labourer  there, 
Mayhap  she  would  not  yet 

Have  rest  from  toil  and  prayer ; 
And  her  freed  soul  may  get 

Of  God's  own  work  a  share. 




IN  a  tiny  bay, 

Where  ships  lie  sure  and  steady, 
In  a  quiet  way 

Lives  a  tiny  lady ; 
In  a  tiny  house 

Dwells  my  little  fairy, 
Gentle  as  a  mouse, 

Blithe  as  a  canary. 

Travelling  I  have  been 

In  distant  and  in  nigh  lands, 
And  wonders  many  seen 

In  Lowlands  and  in   Highlands ; 
But  never  since  the  days 

When  fairies  were  quite  common, 
Did  human  vision  gaze 

On  such  a  dear,  small  woman  \ 

On  the  deep  sea's  brim, 

In  beauty  quite  excelling, 
White,  and  tight,  and  trim, 

Stands  my  lady's  dwelling. 
Stainless  is  the  door, 

With  patent  polish  glowing ; 
A  little  plot  before, 

With  pinks  and  sweet  peas  growing. 

And  when  in  you  go 

To  my  fairy's  dwelling, 
You  will  find  a  show 

Of  beauty,  past  all  telling ; 
Wealth  of  pretty  wares, 

Curtains,  pictures,  laces, 
Sofas,  tables,  chairs, 

All  in  their  proper  places. 


Erected,  in  1905,  by  Mrs.  Bishop's  desire,  with  funds  expressly  bequeathed  by  her 
for  the  purpose,  and  from  a  design  by  Mr.  Whymper. 


But  above  all  fare, 

Of  which  my  song  is  telling, 
Sits  my  lady  there, 

The  mistress  of  the  dwelling. 
Dressed  in  serge  light  blue, 

With  trimming  white  and  snowy; 
All  so  nice  and  new, 

With  nothing  false  and  showy. 

Dainty  is  her  head, 

Quite  the  classic  oval, — 

Just  the  thing  you  read 
In  the  last  new  novel, 

But  you  never  saw, — 
For  Nature  still  is  chary 

To  reach  the  perfect  law 
She  modelled  in  my  fairy. 

An  eye  whose  glance  doth  roam 

O'er  the  azure  spaces, 
But  still  is  most  at  home 

'Mid  happy  human  faces. 
Cheeks  of  healthy  red 

With  native  freshness  glowing, 
By  the  strong  breeze  spread 

From  purple  moorland  blowing. 

And  a  look  of  warm 

Welcome  to  the  stranger, 
Whom  the  sudden  storm 

Hath  cast  on  her  from  danger ; 
And  a  board  well  spread, 

Bountiful  and  bonnie, 
With  milk  and  barley  bread, 

Bramble  jam  and  honey. 

And  for  wit  and  brains, 

Though  not  taught  at  college, 
Her  dainty  head  contains 

All  sorts  of  curious  knowledge. 
Every  nook  she  knows, 

Every  burn  she  crosses, 
Where  the  rarest  grows 

Of  fungus,  ferns,  and  mosses. 


And  when  flowers  are  few, 

And  suns  of  heat  are  chary, 
She  has  work  to  do 

Beseems  a  bright-eyed  fairy  ; 
A  telescope  she  keeps 

For  lofty  observation, 
Through  which  she  finely  peeps 

At  all  the  starry  nation. 

But  she's  more  than  wise, 

Better  far  than  clever, 
From  her  heart  arise 

Thoughts  of  kindness  ever  ; 
As  the  sun's  bright  ray 

Every  flower  is  kissing, 
All  that  comes  her  way 

Takes  from  her  a  blessing. 

Where  a  widow  weeps, 

She  with  her  is  weeping ; 
Where  a  sorrow  sleeps, 

She  doth  watch  it  sleeping ; 
Where  the  sky  is  bright, 

With  one  sole  taint  of  sadness, 
Let  her  come  in  sight, 

And  all  is  turned  to  gladness. 

And  now,  if  you  should  fear 

I'm  painting  out  a  story, 
Ask,  and  you  will  hear 

The  truth  at  Tobermory. 
In  beauty  Mull  excels 

All  ocean-girdled  islands, 
And  there  this  lady  dwells, 

Sweet  angel  of  the  Highlands. 

J.  S.  B. 


Aberdeen,  342 
Affleck,  Dr.,  380 
Ainos,  life  among  the,  103-5 
Aix-les-Bains,  177 
Alban's,  St.,  Tattenhall,  17 
Albany,  42 

Alcock,  Sir  R.,  his  opinion  of  Un- 
beaten Tracks  in  Japan,  139 
Aldborough,  7 
Alderson,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  34 
Alexander,  Mrs.,  230 
Allan,  Mr.,  182 

—  Mrs.,   of  Aros,    118,    182,  222, 
268,    355  ;     letters    from   Mrs. 
Bishop,  268,  275,  376 

Allen,    Mr.    Clement,    Consul    at 

Chefoo,  284 

Altnacraig,  65,  98  ;  visits  to,  66,  98 
Amar  Singh,  Prince,  210 
Ambala,  219 
America  steamer,  35 
Among  the  Tibetans,  215,  216 
Amoy,  297 
Amritsar,  219  ;  Alexandra  School 

at,  219 

Anchar,  Lake,  210,  211 
Anhar,  233 

Anniviers,  Val  d',  172,  173 
Aomari,  102 
Appin,  56 

Applecross,  71,  73,  112 
Arabian  ss.,  32 
Ardgour,  56 
Ardnamurchan,  56 
Argyll,  Duchess  of,  96 

—  Duke  of,  55,  96 

—  and  the  Isles,  Bishop  of,  5  5 
Arklow,  191 

Armenia,  229,  239 

Armenians,  their  character,  239 

Arnisdale,  73 

Arnold,  Sir  Edwin,  186 

Aros,  127  ;   house,  157,  182 

Asplinium     nidus,      number     of 

fronds,  159 
Assyria  ss.,  220 
Athenceum,  139 
"  Atlantics,  the  Two,"  paper  on, 


Atlas  range,  expedition  to  the,  363 
Australia,    voyage    to,    78  ;     im- 
pressions of,  78 
"  Australia  Felix,"  94 

BA,  LOCH,  179 
Badarroch,  183,  264,  355 
Baghdad,  220,  222 
Bagshawe,     Mrs.     Greaves,     149, 
192  ;    letters   from  Miss   Bird, 

149,  345 
Baker,  Dr.,  376 
Bakhtiari  country,  expedition  to, 


Baleshere,  65 
Balfour,    Professor,    his    lectures 

on    "  Microscopic   Cryptogamic 

Botany,"  158 
Ball,  Mr.,  359 
Ballachulish,  56 
Balmacarra  House,  40,  71 
Baltal,  214 

Balzani,  Count  Ugo,  346 
Banchory,  189 
Baralacha  pass,  218 
Baramulla,  204 
Barbour,  Mrs.,  347 
Barra,  65 




Barry,  Mr.  Smith,  191 

Barton,  i,  3,  146 

Barton-on-the-Heath,  146 

Basrah,  220 

Batala,  219 

Bawan,  205 

Beauly,  88 

Bell,  Mrs.  Glassford,  346 

Bella  Tola,  Hotel,  172,  174 

Benbecula,  65 

Bendasca,  Val,  155 

Benri,  the  Aino  chief,  104 

Berber  sheiks,  castles  of  the,  362, 

365  ;   characteristics,  366 
Bernera,  South,  65 
Bias,  219 
Bickersteth,  Bishop,  303,  326 

—  Mrs.,     326,     378;      on     Mrs. 
Bishop's  visit  to  Tokyo,   303  ; 
on  her  advice  to  missionaries, 


Bijar,  231 
Bird,  Catherine,  4 

—  Edward,  4  ;    his  birth,  5  ;    at 
Cambridge,    5  ;     called    to   the 
bar,  6  ;    barrister  in  Calcutta, 
6  ;  death  of  his  wife  and  son,  6  ; 
takes  Holy  Orders,  6  ;    curate 
at      Boroughbridge,      7 ;      his 
second  marriage,   8  ;    work  at 
Maidenhead,    8  ;    presented   to 
the    living    of    Tattenhall,    8  ; 
birth  of  his  children,    8 ;    his 
views    on    the    observance    of 
Sunday,     17 ;      appointed     to 
St.  Thomas,    17  ;    influence  of 
his    preaching,    18  ;     organises 
the   Evangelical   Alliance,    19 ; 
struggle  against  Sunday  trad- 
ing, 20  ;  attack  of  scarlet  fever, 
21  ;   resigns  his  charge,  21  ;   at 
Eastbourne,    21  ;     at    Epping 
Forest,   22  ;    presented  to  the 
living  of  Wyton,   23  ;    love  of 
Scotland,  25  ;    member  of  the 
Metropolitan  Commission,   26  ; 
his  views  on  temperance,  44  ; 
illness  and  death,  45  ;    publi- 
cation of  Some  Account  of  the 

Great  Religious  Awakening  now 
going  on  in  the  United  States,  46 
Bird,  Mrs.  Edward,  education  of 
children,  12;  her  illness,  63; 
death,  64  ;  favourite  hymns,  125 

—  Elizabeth,  3 

—  George  Merttins,  4 

—  Hannah,  2 

—  Miss  Harriet,  her  death,  178 

—  Henrietta,  4 

or    Hennie,    her    birth,    9  ; 

character,  16,  65,  122-5,  I3°i 
attack  of  scarlet  fever,  21  ;  at 
the  Bridge  of  Allan,  63  ;  at 
Tobermory,  63,  64,  70  ;  death 
of  her  mother,  64  ;  devotion  to 
study,  65,  131  ;  artistic  power, 
65  ;  attends  Professor  Blackie's 
Greek  classes,  74,  92  ;  attach- 
ment to  Tobermory,  77  ;  at 
lona,  93  ;  visit  from  her  sistejr, 
97  ;  Professor  Blackie's  lines  on 
her,  97 ;  ill-health,  100  ;  parting 
from  her  sister,  100 ;  life  at 
Tobermory,  no,  127 ;  illness, 
115,  117-9,  134;  death,  119, 
135;  funeral,  120,  135;  "The 
Blessed  One,"  122  ;  affection 
for  her  parents,  122  ;  unselfish- 
ness, 123  ;  love  of  nature,  124  ; 
adoption  of  a  child,  126 ; 
sketches,  128  ;  "  Tobermory 
Parties,"  128  ;  friends,  129, 
132;  obituary  notice,  130; 
religious  views,  1 30  ;  views  on 
companionship,  133  ;  vein  of 
fun,  133  ;  verses,  134  ;  hymn, 
134;  memorial  hospitals,  219, 

— -  Henry,  2,  4 

—  Isabella   Lucy,    her   birth,    8  ; 
rides  with  her  father,  9  ;   habit 
of     accurate     observation,     9 ; 
love  of  flowers,   10 ;    incidents 
of     her     childhood,     10,     n  ; 
fearlessness,      n,      36;      early 
education,     12  ;     fondness    for 
reading,    12  ;    holiday  at  Tap- 
low  Hill,  13  ;    delicacy,  15,  49  ; 



teaches  in  St.  Thomas's  Sunday 
school,  19  ;  trains  the  choir, 
20 ;  her  pamphlet  on  Free 
Trade  versus  Protection,  21  ; 
at  Wyton,  23  ;  learns  to  row, 
23  ;  friendship  with  Lady  Jane 
Hay,  24  ;  operations,  24,  172  ; 
visits  to  Scotland,  25  ;  her 
courage,  27  ;  adventure  in  a 
cab,  27  ;  ill-health,  28,  41  ;  at 
Portsmouth,  28  ;  voyage  to 
Halifax,  29  ;  at  Charlotte 
Town,  29  ;  impressions  of 
Prince  Edward's  Island,  30  ; 
Boston,  30  ;  Cincinnati,  30  ; 
adventure  with  a  pick-pocket, 
30 ;  impressions  of  Chicago, 
31  ;  Toronto,  31  ;  nearly 
drowned,  32,  44  ;  visit  to  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Forrest,  32  ;  at  Mont 
real,  33  ;  Quebec,  34  ;  attack  of 
cholera,  34  ;  returns  to  Wyton, 
35,  44  ;  literary  work,  36,  49, 
59,  92,  94,  98,  113,  168  ;  spinal 
attacks,  36,  49,  57,  70,  160, 
183  ;  style  of  writing,  37,  108  ; 
introduction  to  Mr.  John 
Murray,  38  ;  publication  of  The 
Englishwoman  in  America,  38  ; 
scheme  for  the  benefit  of  West 
Highland  fishermen,  40,  51,  52  ; 
second  visit  to  America,  42  ; 
death  of  her  father,  45  ;  her 
notes  on  Aspects  of  Religion  in 
the  United  States,  45  ;  publica- 
tion of  the  book,  47  ;  visit  to 
Ireland,  48,  191  ;  residence  in 
Edinburgh,  48  ;  appearance, 
49  ;  characteristics,  49,  50,  74  ; 
method  of  writing,  49  ;  home 
affection,  51  ;  provision  of 
outfits  for  the  Highlanders,  53  ; 
at  lona,  55,  93  ;  friendship  with 
Mrs.  Blackie,  55  ;  an  island 
tour,  55  ;  care  of  herself, 
57 ;  interest  in  the  Scottish 
Churches,  58  ;  papers  on 
hymns,  59-63  ;  death  of  her 
mother,  64  ;  at  Farnham  Castle, 

64 ;  tour  in  the  "  Outer  He- 
brides," 65  ;  at  Oban,  66,  68  ; 
visit  to  Altnacraig,  66,  98  ;  Notes 
on  Old  Edinburgh,  67  ;  schemes 
for  the  relief  of  the  poor  in 
Edinburgh,  68,  72  ;  attack  of 
illness,  68,  74,  90,  199  ;  friend- 
ship with  Miss  Clayton,  69  , 
with  Lady  Middleton,  71  ;  at 
Balmacarra  House,  71  ;  her 
poem,  ''  The  Darkness  is  Past," 
74  ;  voyage  to  New  York,  77  ; 
to  Australia,  78 ;  impressions 
of  New  Zealand,  79  ;  Sandwich 
Islands,  79  ;  delight  in  the  sea, 
79  ;  travels  in  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  80  ;  revision  of  her 
letters,  81  ;  visit  to  London,  81, 
89  et  seq.  ;  at  Houghton,  82  ; 
Knoyle  Rectory,  82,  88  ;  death 
of  her  guide,  Mr.  Nugent,  83  ; 
at  Hospenthal,  84  ;  Interlaken, 
84 ;  return  to  Edinburgh,  84 
et  seq.  ;  publication  of  Six 
Months  in  the  Sandwich  Islands , 
84  ;  charm  and  vividness  of  her 
style,  86  ;  plans  for  a  "  Cab- 
men's Rest  and  Refreshment 
Room,"  84 ;  revision  of  the 
proofs  of  Miss  Gordon  Cum- 
ming's  book,  87,  89  ;  at  Glen 
Affric  Hotel,  88  ;  studies  with 
the  microscope,  88,  92,  96,  158  ; 
conflicts  with  the  Edinburgh 
Town  Council,  90  ;  at  Settring- 
ton  House,  92  ;  paper  on  "  The 
Two  Atlantics,"  93  ;  friendship 
with  Miss  Pipe,  94 ;  her  article 
"  Australia  Felix,"  94  ;  interest 
in  the  bazaar  for  the  erection  of 
a  "  National  Livingstone  Me- 
morial," 95,  99 ;  proposals  of 
marriage  from  Dr.  Bishop,  97, 
112;  visit  to  her  sister,  97; 
preparations  for  her  journey  to 
Japan,  100  ;  parting  with  her 
sister,  100  ;  at  Yokohama,  101  ; 
tour  in  the  interior,  102  ;  life 
among  the  Ainos,  103-5  ;  at 



Tokio,  105,  303,  305,  325  ; 
Hong  Kong,  106,  296  ;  in  the 
Malay  Peninsula,  108  ;  Cairo, 
1 08  ;  attack  of  fever,  108,  109, 
285  ;  publication  of  A  Lady's 
Life  in  the  Rocky  Mountains, 
109;  curios  from  Japan,  in, 
148;  at  Applecross,  112;  her 
bouquet,  116;  illness  of  her 
sister,  1 1 7-9  ;  sorrow  at  the 
death,  120,  135,  137,  147,  158  ; 
in  Switzerland,  136,  155  ;  at 
Tobermory,  137  et  seq.  ;  publi- 
cation of  Unbeaten  Tracks  in 
Japan,  138  ;  engagement  to 
Dr.  Bishop,  141  ;  sketch  of  Dr. 
Candlish,  145,  149 ;  power  of 
bearing  cold,  145  ;  marriage, 
146  ;  on  the  appearance  and 
character  of  her  husband,  146, 
149  ;  depression,  147,  154,  196  ; 
her  home  in  Edinburgh,  148  ; 
Hawaiian  Literary  Order  of 
Kapiolani  conferred,  150;  ill- 
ness of  her  husband,  151,  157, 
161-75  '>  sufferings  from  car- 
buncles, 152  ;  her  notes  of  the 
Malay  Peninsula,  154  ;  at  the 
Italian  lakes,  155  ;  at  Durham, 
158  ;  love  of  botany,  158  ; 
power  of  noting  plants,  159; 
publication  of  The  Golden  Cher- 
sonese, 1 60  ;  tour  in  Devon- 
shire, 161  ;  gives  up  her  Edin- 
burgh home,  164  ;  at  Hyeres, 
169  ;  her  notes  on  A  Pilgrimage 
to  Mount  Sinai,  170 ;  tour 
through  the  Riviera,  171  ;  at 
Vissoie,  173  ;  St.  Luc,  174,  177  ; 
Cannes,  174 ;  death  of  her 
husband,  175  ;  verses,  176  ;  at 
Tiree,  179;  Westbury,  180 ; 
"  A  Psychological  Fragment," 
181  ;  her  costume,  182,  300, 
303  ;  classes,  183  ;  views  on 
temperance,  184 ;  training  at 
St.  Mary's  Hospital,  186  ;  pro- 
posal to  build  a  hospital  at 
Nazareth,  187 ;  at  Banchory, 

189  ;  takes  a  house  in  town, 
190,  346 ;  baptism  by  im- 
mersion, 195  ;  gives  up  her 
house,  197,  349 ;  sale  of  her 
curios,  198  ;  addresses  to  the 
Y.W.C.A.,  200 ;  preparations 
for  her  journey  to  Tibet  and 
Persia,  202  ;  at  Suez,  202  ; 
Port  Said,  203  ;  Lahore,  204  ; 
Islamabad,  205  ;  "  Memorial 
Hospital,"  206,  208  ;  loss  of  her 
letter,  208  ;  life  at  Srinagar, 
209  ;  plans  an  ascent  to  the 
plateaux  of  Lesser  Tibet,  209  ; 
at  Gauderbal,  210  ;  Sonabarg, 
213;  on  the  Zoji  La,  215; 
Among  the  Tibetans,  216 ;  at 
Kylang,  218  ;  Simla,  218  ; 
memorial  to  her  sister,  219  ; 
preparations  for  her  journey  to 
Persia,  220;  hardships,  221-4, 
228  ;  at  Tihran,  223  ;  ride  to 
Ispahan,  224  ;  at  Julfa,  225  ; 
preparations  for  the  expedition 
to  Bakhtari,  227  ;  at  Hamadan, 
230  ;  march  to  Trebizond,  231  ; 
at  Urmi,  231  ;  her  attitude 
towards  missions,  236 ;  at 
Gahgoran,  237  ;  Van,  238  ; 
Bitlis,  240  ;  attacked  by  Kurds, 
241  ;  at  Erzeroum,  242  ;  Tre- 
bizond, 242  ;  work  on  her  book 
on  Persia,  244 ;  addresses  at 
missionary  meetings,  246,  257, 
270,  289,  333,  341,  342,  347, 
369*  37i»  374;  meeting  with 
Mr.  Gladstone,  246  ;  address  in 
committee-room  No.  15,  247; 
attack  of  sleeplessness,  248  ; 
addresses  at  the  British  Asso- 
ciation meetings,  249,  262,  347  ; 
R.S.G.S.  fellowship  conferred, 

252  ;    publication  of  her  Jour- 
neys in  Persia  and  Kurdistan, 

253  ;    attack  of  influenza,  253, 
373  ;    on  the  change  in  her  ap- 
pearance, 256  ;    lessons  in  pho- 
tography,   259  ;    complex  con- 
stitution,    259-62 ;      appetite, 




261  ;  paper  on  "  Western  Tibet," 

262  ;    organises  cookery  classes 
at  Tobermory,  264  ;    her  series 
of    practical   ''  Talks "    to   the 
Y.W.C.A.,  265  ;  elected  a  fellow 
of  the  R.G.S.,  265  ;    presented 
to    Queen    Victoria,    267  ;     at 
Lambeth  Palace,  267  ;    address 
at  Exeter  Hall  on   "  Heathen 
Claims   and   Christian    Duty," 
270-4 ;    vaccinated,    274  ;     de- 
parture for  the  East,  275  ;    at 
Vancouver's  Island,  276  ;    Che- 
mulpo,   276,     283,     295,     310; 
impressions  of  Korea,  276,  307  ; 
voyage    up    the    River    Han, 
278-80  ;   at  Chang-an  Sa  or  the 
Temple  of  Eternal  Rest  Monas- 
tery,  281  ;    at   Wonson,    283  ; 
Chefoo,   284,   289 ;    Newchang, 
285,  289  ;  breaks  her  arm,  286  ; 
at  Mukden,  286  ;  Tientsin,  289  ; 
Peking,  290 ;  Vladivostock,  291  ; 
return  to  Seoul,  293,  305,  310, 
330 ;     received    by    the    King 
and  Queen  of  Korea,  295  ;    at 
Nagasaki,     295  ;      address     on 
"  Korea  and  Manchuria,"  296  ; 
tour  of  inspection  of  missionary 
agencies,  296  ;    at  Hang-chow, 
297 ;     Shao    Hsing,    298-301  ; 
Shanghai,  301,  310,  323  ;    Osa- 
ka,  303  ;    Ikao,   305  ;    Pyong- 
yang,    308  ;      voyage    up    the 
Yangtze,  310  ;   at  Ichang,  310  ; 
Wan-Hsien,    312;     Paoning-fu, 
314;    Kuan-Hsin,  316;    struck 
by  a  stone,  316  ;   on  missionary 
problems,  319  ;    impressions  of 
China,  324  ;  memorial  hospitals, 
325  ;     life    at    Chusenji,    326 ; 
visit  to  Mr.   McLeavy  Brown, 

331  regret  at  leaving  Korea, 

332  reputation  as  a  lecturer, 
334       advice    on    the    working 
of  missionaries  in  China,  336- 
40 ;      lecture      on      "  Western 
China,"    342  ;      publication   of 
Korea  and  her  Neighbours,  342  ; 

her  house  in  the  country,  348  ; 
publication  of  The  Yangtze 
Valley  and  Beyond,  351  ;  grief 
at  the  death  of  Sir  T.  G. 
Stewart,  353  ;  on  the  condition 
of  Tobermory,  354  ;  gives  up 
the  cottage,  356 ;  accidents, 
356,  371  ;  life  at  Hartford 
Hurst,  359 ;  publication  of 
Chinese  Pictures,  359 ;  at 
Tangier,  360,  368  ;  attack  of 
blood-poisoning,  361  ;  at  Mara- 
kesh,  361  ;  received  by  the 
Sultan,  362,  365  ;  at  Zarktan 
Castle,  363  ;  impressions  of 
Morocco,  363  ;  at  Fez,  367  ; 
Wazam,  367  ;  Fulham  Palace, 
370 ;  Reigate,  372  ;  Oxford, 
373  ;  lecture  at  Winchester 
School,  373  ;  addresses  at  Hol- 
loway  College,  374,  379  ;  symp- 
toms of  a  fatal  malady,  374, 
379  ;  gives  up  the  Hurst,  375  ; 
her  will,  378  ;  illness,  380-92  ; 
dislike  of  food,  382,  386  ;  death, 
392  ;  funeral,  392 
Bird,  Rev.  James  Grant,  392 

—  Jane  Wilberforce,  22 

—  John,  i 

—  Lucy,  2,  4,  274 

—  Mary,  4 

—  Mrs.  Merttins,    161,   180;    her 
brothers-in-law,  23 

—  Miss  Merttins,  5,  13 

—  Rebecca,  4 

—  Robert,  2,  4,  13  ;   his  death,  16 

—  Mrs.  Robert,  13  ;  her  death,  22 

—  Robert   Merttins,    4,    16 ;     his 
third  marriage,  22  ;  removes  to 
Torquay,  23 

—  Thomas,  i 

—  Major  Wilberforce,  142  ;  at  the 
marriage  of  Isabella  Bird,  146 

—  William,  i 

Birdsall  House,  116,  151,  256 
Birmingham,  16  ;   its  condition  in 

1843,  18 

Bishop,  Dr.,  92,  95,  medical  at- 
tendant to  Miss  Bird.  96  ;   pro- 



posals  of  marriage  to  her,  97, 
112,  120;  his  accident,  117; 
on  Henrietta  Bird's  illness  and 
death,  117,  119,  134;  his  letters 
to  Mr.  Murray,  117,  119,  171  ; 
to  Mrs.  Milford,  134  ;  engage- 
ment to  Isabella  Bird,  141  ; 
career,  143  ;  study  of  medicine, 
and  botany,  143  ;  selflessness, 
144,  162 ;  marriage,  146 ;  ap- 
pearance, 146  ;  character,  146  ; 
renews  the  lease  of  Tobermory 
Cottage,  148  ;  his  visit  to 
Peterborough,  1 50  ;  attack  of 
blood-poisoning,  151,  157;  ad- 
vocacy of  medical  missions,  153, 
187  ;  illness,  161-75  ;  removal 
to  London,  163,  164 ;  at  St. 
Leonards,  163  ;  Brighton,  164  ; 
Ilkley,  1 66  ;  Tobermory,  166  ; 
his  sketches,  168  ;  at  Hyeres, 
169  ;  removal  to  Geneva,  171  ; 
at  Glion,  172  ;  ascent  to  Vis- 
soie,  173  ;  at  St.  Luc,  174 ; 
Cannes,  174 ;  operation  of 
transfusion  of  blood  performed, 
174 ;  death,  175  ;  funeral, 
175  ;  memorial  hospital  at 
Islamabad,  206,  208  ;  rebuilt, 

Bishop,  Mrs.     See  Bird,  Isabella 

Bitlis,  240  ;  American  mission  at, 

Blackie,  Mrs.,  49,  244,  255  ;  her 
friendship  with  Isabella  Bird, 
55,  56  ;  letters  from  her,  58,  64, 
70.  79,  93.  97.  ioo,  103,  107, 
109,  112,  154,  155,  177,  187, 
194,  258,  264,  353  ;  her  sym- 
pathy on  the  death  of  Mrs.  Bird, 
64  ;  her  Highland  home,  65  ; 
attack  of  fever,  107  ;  opinion  of 
Dr.  Bishop,  107  ;  golden  wed- 
ding day,  258 

—  Professor,  49,  55,  244,  255; 
his  Homer,  58  ;  classes  for 
Greek,  74,  92  ;  lines  on  Henri- 
etta Bird,  97  ;  poem  dedicated 
to  her,  135  ;  resigns  his  pro- 

fessorship, 153  ;  his  Wisdom  of 
Goethe,  156  ;  letters  from  Mrs. 
Bishop,  156,  179,  258;  golden 
wedding  day,  258  ;  his  death, 


Blackwood's  Magazine,  12 
Blair,  Mr.,  79 

—  164.     See  Williamson 
Blyth,  Miss  Phcebe,  53 
Boer  War,  351 
Boroughbridge,  7 
Boston,  30,  35,  42 
Bournemouth,  190,  257,  259 
Bowman,  Mrs.,  164,  332 
Braernar,  97 

Brampton  Park,  36 

Bregaglia,  Val,  155 

Bridge  of  Allan,  63 

Bridgnorth,  262 

Brighton,  164 

Bristol,  1 80 

British   Association    meetings   at 

Cardiff,     249 ;      Clifton,     347  ; 

Edinburgh,  262 
Broadford,  40,  73 
Broen,  Miss  de,  378 
Broughton  Bay,  283 
Brown,  Canon  Cowley,  384,  393 

—  Rev.  David,  4 

—  Mrs.  George,  186  ;  her  reminis- 
cences of  Isabella  Bird,  35,  36 

—  Dr.  John,  48,  58 

—  Mr.  McLeavy,  277  ;    Financial 
Adviser  of  Korea,  329,  331 

—  Mr.,  his  illness  and  death*  370 

—  Mrs.,  82,    132,  244,   262,   334, 
347,  359.    370,  3«o>    391  ;    her 
recollections  of  Henrietta  Bird, 
123  ;   letters  from  Mrs.  Bishop, 
361,  363.  365 

Browne,  Mr.,  237 

Bruce,  Dr.,  220 ;  at  Julfa,  224 

—  Miss,  228 
Bryce,  Mr.,  247 

Bullock,  Mr.  Lowndes,  285,  289, 
301,  310,  346 

—  Mrs.   Lowndes,  285,    289,  301, 
310,    346 ;     letters    from    Mrs. 
Bishop,  322,  324,  372 



Bunyon,  Miss,  on  Mrs.  Bishop's 
advice  to  missionaries,  340 

Burden,  Bishop  and  Mrs.,  106, 
296;  in  Edinburgh,  153;  at 
Tobermory,  157 

Burge,  Dr.,  373 

Burlington  Bay,  31 

Burt,  Emma,  6 

Burujird,  229 

Bushire,  220 

Butler,  Dr.,  7 

—  Dr.  Fanny,  206 
Butts,  the,  161 
Buxton,  264 

MENT ROOM,"  plan  of  a,  87  ; 
opened,  90 

Cadenabbia,  155 

Caine,  Mr.,  247 

Cairo,  108 

Calgary,  179 

Cambridge,  photographic  conven- 
tion at,  375 

Campbell,  Lady  Emma,  70 

—  Lady  Victoria,  district  referee 
for    the    Y.W.C.A.,     185  ;     at 
Tobermory,    189 ;    addresses  a 
meeting,  189 

Canada,  settlement  in,  54,  62 
Canada  mail  steamer,  29 
Candlish,  Dr.,  sketch  and  life  of, 

145,  149 

Cannes,  171,  174,  175,  177 
Canterbury,  161 

—  settlement,  79 
Canton,  160 

Cardiff,  British  Association  meet- 
ing at,  249 

Carless,  Mr.,  226 

Carolina,  South,  42 

Cassels,  Bishop,  his  mission  at 
Paoning-fu,  315  ;  on  Mrs.  Bis- 
hop's visit,  3 i 5 

Castle  Mail,  56 

Cathcart,  Lady  Gordon,  52 

Catholic  Presbyterian  Magazine, 
The,  145 

Chalmers,  Miss,  386 

Chamini,  228 

Chang-an     Sa,     the     Temple     of 

Eternal  Rest  Monastery,   281  ; 

character  of  the  monks,  282 
Charles,  Mrs.  Rundle,  81 
Charlotte  Town,  29 
Charon,  the,  56 
Chefoo,  284,  289,  290 
Chemulpo,    276,    293,    295,    310 ; 

Japanese  troops  land  at,  283 
Chengtu,  323  ;  plain  of,  317,  319 
Chester,  9 

—  Bishop  of,  27 

Chicago,  101  ;   impressions  of,  31 

Chighakor,  228 

China  Missionary  Societies,  297  ; 
impressions  of,  324  ;  Inland 
Mission,  313  ;  advice  on  the 
working  of,  336-40 

"  China,  Western,"  lecture  on,  342 

Chine,  La,  33 

Chinese  and  Manchus,  hatred 
between,  289 ;  colporteurs, 
character  of,  287  ;  navy,  cap- 
ture of,  305 

Chinese  Pictures,  publication,  359 

Cholera,  epidemic  of,  in  Quebec, 
34  ;  at  Carlsbad,  263 

Cholmondeley,  Rev.  Lionel,  his 
reminiscences  of  Mrs.  Bishop's 
visit  at  Chusenji,  327-9 

Chow-fu,    memorial    hospital    at, 


Christian  Monthly,  The,  129 
Christie,  Dr.,  287 
Chunking,  323 
Chusenji,  lake  of,  326 
Cincinnati,  30 
City  of  Tokio  ss.,  101 
Claremorris,  192 
Clark,  Dr.  Martyn,  his  work  at  the 

Medical    Mission    Hospital    at 

Amritsar,  219 

—  Sir  Andrew,  163 

Clarke,  Messrs.,  strike  of  machin- 
ists, 341 

Clayton,  Miss,  66,  68,  76  ;  letters 
from  Miss  Bird,  80,  206,  210, 
225-7  ;  friendship  with  her, 



69  ;    in   Switzerland,    136 ;     at 

Cadenabbia,  155  ;  Hyeres,  170  ; 

Cannes,    175  ;    Banchory,    189  ; 

Bournemouth,  190  ;   her  illness, 

198,  245  ;  death,  278 
Cliff  College,  194 
Clifton,  161  ;    British  Association 

meeting  at,  347 

—  Mrs.,  52 

Coalbrookdale,  meeting  at,  262 
Colombo,  332 

Colporteurs,  Chinese,  character  of, 

Columba  Inn,  St.,  93 

Cong,  192 

Connemara,  192 

Constable,  Mr.,  58 

Constantinople,  243 

Contemporary  Review,  review  in, 
1 39  ;  articles  in,  246 

Cook,  Canon,  186 

Corpach,  56 

Cronshaw,  Mr.,  370,  378 

Croom,  Sir  Halliday,  374,  387 

Cullen,  Rev.  George  D.,  48  ;  his 
correspondence  with  Miss  Bird, 
76 ;  at  Henrietta  Bird's  fu- 
neral, 1 20 

—  Miss,   48,    76,    95,     120,    252, 
256,    275,    386 ;     letters    from 
Mrs.  Bishop,  280,  289,  290,  293, 
296,  301,  303,  313,  319,  323,  326, 
347,  358,  360  ;    her  death,  374 

Cumming,  Miss  Gordon,  155  ;  her 
friendship  with  Miss  Bird,  71  ; 
visit  at  Applecross,  73  ;  recol- 
lections of  her,  73  ;  revision  of 
her  book,  87,  89  ;  in  the  Fijian 
Isles,  89 ;  at  Birdsall  House, 
116;  at  Tokio,  105 

Curzon,  Lord,  220  ;  his  book  on 
Persia,  252  ;  review  of  Journeys 
in  Persia,  262 

Daily  Chronicle,  letters  in  the,  372 

Dal  Lake,  207 

Dar  al  Baida,  367 

"  Darkness  is  Past,  The,"  74 

Darwin,  Mr.,  98 

Davies,  Dr.,  259,  262 

Dawson,  Mr.,  384 

Dee,  River,  369 

Deeside,  342 

Dening,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  103 

Detroit,  31,  42 

Devey,   Mr.,   British  Vice-Consul 

at  Van,  240 

Devonshire,  tour  in,  161 
Diamond  mountains,  280 
Dillon,  Mr.,  190 
Dixon,  Dr.,  163 
—  Mr.,  264 
Donnuil  Dhu,  30 
Douglas,  Mr.,  228 
Douro  ss.,  243 
Dras  valley,  216 
Dreghorn  Castle,  92,  150 
Drummond,  Mr.,  130 
Du  Chaillu,  191 
Dublin,  191 
Dulai,  204 
Dun-Ee,  93,  124 
Duncan,  Dr.  Matthew,  143 
Dunedin,  79 
Dunlop,   Mr.   Nathaniel,  77,  144, 

201  ;    his  impressions   of  Miss 

Bird,  52  ;   on  the  emigration  of 

crofters,  52,  53 
Dunmore,    Lord,    his    paper    on 

"  Journeyings  in  the  Pamirs  and 

Central  Asia,"  268 
Durand,  Colonel,  209 
Durham,  157 

EASTBOURNE,  21,  267 
Eden,  Garden  of,  site  of  the,  220 
Edinburgh,  visit  to,  48  ;  con- 
dition of  the  Old  Town,  66  ; 
Notes  on,  67  ;  schemes  for  the 
relief  of  the  poor,  72  ;  plan  of  a 
Cabmen's  Rest  and  Refresh- 
ment Room,  87  ;  opened,  90  ; 
erection  of  a  "  Livingstone 
Memorial,"  95  ;  committee 
formed,  96  ;  British  ,  Associa- 
tion meeting  at,  262  ;  Mission- 



ary  Loan    Exhibition    opened, 


Edinburgh  Medical  Journal,  ar- 
ticle on  the  complex  constitu- 
tion of  Mrs.  Bishop,  260 

Edmonstone  and  Douglas,  Messrs., 

Edward  VII.,  King,  his  illness, 
375  ;  coronation,  375 

Egerton,  Sir  Malpas  de  Grey 
Tatton,  12 

Egypt,  109 

Elgin,  Lord,  34 

Ely,  Miss,  240 

"  Emblematists,  the,"  63 

Emerson,  43 

Empress  of  Japan,  296 

Englishwoman  in  America,  publi- 
cation, 38  ;  reviews  on,  39 

Epping  Forest,  22 

Erray  Farm,  199 

Erzeroum,  242 

Euphrates,  220,  241 

Evans,  Elizabeth,  4 

—  Mrs.  Harrington,  82 

—  Rev.  J.  Harrington,  4,  5 
Exeter     Hall,     meeting     of     the 

"  Gleaners'  Union  "  at,  270  ; 
address  on  "  Heathen  Claims 
and  Christian  Duty,"  271-4  ; 
lecture  at,  333 

FAIRBAIRN,  Principal,  373 

Fais    Khan,    his    character,    210, 

212  ;    costume,  212 
Faisarullah  Khan,  General,  226 
Falkirk,  153 
Family  Treasury,  49 
Fao,  220 

Farmer,  Mr.  Howard,  259 
Farnham  Castle,  64 
Fez,  367 
Foochow,  297 
Ford  Hall,  192,  251,  371 
Fordyce,  Dr.,  380,  387 
Forester,  Lord,  257 
Forrest,  Mr.,  32 
—  Mrs.,  32 

Fox,  Charles  James,  23 

Frank,  Dr.,  175 

—  Lady  Agnes,  175 

Franzensbad,  89 

Fraser,  Mr.,  102 

Free     Trade     versus     Protection, 

pamphlet  on,  21 
Froude,  J.  Anthony,  23 
Fulham  Palace,  370 
Fuller,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  296 


Galashiels,  155 

Gale,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  283 

Galway,  Lord  and  Lady,  112 

Ganderbal,  210 

Gawar,  plain  of,  235 

Geikie,  Sir  Archibald,  President  of 
the  British  Association  meeting, 

Geneva,  171,  178 

Genkai  Maru,  310 

Geographical  Club,  lecture  at,  333 

Georgia,  42 

Ghazit,  240 

Ghazloo  Pass,  blizzard  on,  241 

Gibson,  Dr.  Monro,  193 

Gladstone,  W.  E.,  his  meeting 
with  Mrs.  Bishop,  246  J  ex- 
position of  the  Nestorian  heresy, 

Glasgow,  20 1 

"  Gleaners'  Union,"  meeting  at 
Exeter  Hall,  270 

Glen  Affric  Hotel,  88 

Glenelg,  73 

Glion,  172,  178 

Glowa,  Castle  of,  360 

Golden  Chersonese,  106,  107,  155  ; 
publication,  160 

Gomery,  Dr.  Minnie,  208 

Good  Words,  49 

Gould,  Mr.  Baring,  379 

Gourock,  63 

Grant,  Sir  Alexander,  116 

Green,  Mrs.  J.  R.,  346,  359,  378  ; 
letter  from  Mrs.  Bishop,  380 

Greenfield,  Professor,  161 

Greenock,  63 



Grenfell,  Henrietta,  22 

—  Mr.  Pascoe,  22 

Grimasay,  65 

Guildford,  199 

Guinness,  Geraldine,  387 

Gurman,  or  the  Garden  of  Eden, 


Guthrie,  Dr.,  48 
"  Gyalpo,"  the  Arab  horse,  212  ; 

accident  to,  214 


Halifax,  voyage  to,  29 

Hamadan,  229,  230 

Hamilton,  31 

Hampson,  Mr.,  242 

Hampstead,  81 

Han  River,  277  ;   voyage  up  the, 


Hang-chow,  297  ;  hospital  at,  297 
Hankow,  310 
Hanna,    Dr.,    48,    58,    120 ;     his 

funeral    sermon    on    Henrietta 

Bird,  135 
Hari,  Jean,  175 
Harris,  25 

—  Mr.,  367 

Hart,  Sir  Robert,  290 
Hartford  Church,  150 

—  Hurst,  348 
Hassan,  228 

—  Khan,  217 

Hay,  Lady  Jane,  24,  346 

Heanish,  357 

"  Heathen  Claims  and  Christian 

Duty,"  address  on,  271-4 
"  Hebrides,    the    Outer,"    papers 

on  the  tour  in,  65 
Hesso  Khan,  233 
Hexham,  157 
Heyde,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  218 
Highlanders,  their  character,  141 
Highlands,  West,  scheme  for  the 

benefit   of   the   fishermen,    40 ; 

manufacture    of    Harris    cloth, 

51;     emigration    scheme,    52; 

supply  of  outfits,  53 
Higo  Maru,  284,  295 

Hill,  Bishop,  at  the  meeting  in 
Exeter  Hall,  270 

—  Mrs.    D.    O.,    her    statue    of 
Livingstone,  95 

—  Rev.  David,  302 

Hillier,  Sir  Walter,  293,  305,  346, 
378  ;  revises  proofs  of  Mrs. 
Bishop's  book  on  Korea,  341  ; 
letters  from  her,  342,  357,  373 

Himalaya  troopship,  29 

Hoare,  Mr.,  301 

Holloway  College,  Egham,  mis- 
sionary addresses  at,  374,  379 

Hong  Kong,  106,  160 ;  gathering 
of  missionaries  at,  296  ;  lectures 
at,  296 

Honolulu,  79 

Horsburgh,  Dr.,  316 

Horton,  Dr.,  274 

Hospenthal,  84 

Houghton,  23,  35,  82,  244,  249, 
257,  262,  266,  369,  380 

Hourn,  Loch,  71,  73 

House  of  Commons,  Committee 
room  No.  15,  address  on  the 
Syrians  and  Armenians,  247 

Hsin-lan,  cataract  of,  312 

Hudson's  Bay  Territory,  42 

Huggins,  Sir  William,  249 

Hull,  Miss,  2ii 

Hunter,  Sir  William  and  Lady, 

Huntingdon,  23,  244 

Huron,  Lake,  42,  44 

Hutcheson,  Mr.,  40,  51 

Hyeres,  169 

Hymns,  papers  on,  59-63 


Ichang,  310 

Ikao,  305 

Ilberge  Khan,  229 

Ilkley,  1 66 

Illinois,  prairies  of,  42 

Ingram,  Bishop  Winnington,  348, 


Interlaken,  84 
Invercargill,  79 



Inverness-shire,  25 

lona,  40,  54 

Ireland,  visits  to,  48,  191  ;  plan 
of  campaign,  188,  198 

Islam,  creed  of,  221 

Islamabad,  205  ;  proposed  hospi- 
tal at,  206  ;  built,  263 

Ispahan,  224 

Ives,  St.,  23 


James's  Gazette,  St.,  139;  letters 
in,  278,  294 

Japan,  preparations  for  the  jour- 
ney to,  100  ;  curios  from,  in, 
148  ;  progress,  140,  276 ;  in- 
fluence on  Korea,  277  ;  supre- 
macy in  the  Far  East,  305 

Japan,  Unbeaten  Tracks  in,  publi- 
cation, 138 

Japanese  capture  the  palace  at 
Seoul,  288 

Jhelum  river,  204,  206  ;  accident 
on  the,  207 

Johannes,  240 

Johnstone,  Dr.,  166 

Joy,  Mrs.,  324 

Julfa,  220  ;  Church  Mission  House 
at,  224 

Kaisow  ss.,  303 

Kalakaua,    King   of     Hawaii-nei, 

ill  Edinburgh,  149  ;   confers  the 

Literary  Order  of  Kapiolani  on 

Mrs.  Bishop,  150 
Kanzo,  Uchimura,  Why  I  became 

a  Christian,  328 
Kapurtala,  Rajah  of,  210 
Karachi,  204,  220 
Kargil,  216 
Karun  River,  220 
"  Karun   region,  the   Upper  and 

the    Bakhtiari    Lurs,"    lectures 

on,  249,  252 

Kashmir,  204  ;    climate,  211 
Kavir,  or  Great  Salt  Desert,  223 
Keith,  Dr.,  143 
Keltic,  Dr.  Scott,  352 

Kenilworth,  i 

Ker,  Miss  Alexina,  her  reminis- 
cences, 378 

—  Miss  Bessie,  on  the  ascent  to 
Vissoie,  173 

—  the  Misses,  136,  175,  358,  369, 
375.  38o,  389,  391 

Kerbela,  201 
Kerrera,  sound  of,  65 
Keswick,  Mrs.,  387 
Kew  Gardens,  82 
Khanjarak,  239 
Kharzong  glacier,  217 
Khonnikin,  221 
"  Kim,"  278 
King,  Mr.,  289 
Kingsley,  Charles,  23 

—  Miss,  346,  349 
Kingussie,  264 
Kinnaird,  Miss,  349 
Gertrude,  334 

—  the  Misses,  375,  377 
Kioto,  292 

Kipling,  Mr.,  Curator  of  the 
Museum  at  Lahore,  220 

Kirmanshah,  221 

Knapp,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  240 

Knaresborough,  7,  266,  375,  380 

Knowles,  Mr.,  204 

Knoyle  Rectory,  82,  88 

Kobe,  276 

Kochanes,  237 

Kooltapa,  231 

Korea,  impressions  of,  276  ;  in- 
fluence of  Japan,  277  ;  worship 
of  demons,  282  ;  character  of 
the  settlements  in  Russia,  292  ; 
independence  declared,  294, 
305  ;  impressions  of  the  land- 
scape, 307  ;  internal  adminis- 
tration, 331 

—  King    of,    declares    the    inde- 
pendence  of    Korea,    294 ;     re- 
ceives Mrs.  Bishop,  295  ;  made 
a  prisoner,    306  ;    takes  refuge 
in  the  Russian  Embassy,  330 

—  Queen   of,    her  characteristics, 
and    appearance,     295  ;     mur- 
dered, 306 



"  Korea  and  Manchuria,"  address 
on,  296 

Korea  and  her  Neighbours,  pub- 
lication, 342 

Kuan-Hsien,  317 

Kulla  Khan,  229 

Kum,  222,  224 

"  Kurd,  The  Shadow  of  the,"  246 

Kurdistan,  229 

Kurds,  their  character,  232  ;  at- 
tacks on  Nestorians,  233  ;  de- 
predations, 241 

Kusamoto,  Mr.,  106 

Kwala  Kangsa,  159 

Kylang,  218 

Kyleakin,  56,  113 

Kymg-Pok  Palace,  295 

LABOREE,  MR.,  232 

Lady  Eisa,  the  steam-yacht,  112, 


Lahore,  204,  219 
Lahul,  218 

Lambeth  Palace,  visit  to,  267 
Lang,  Dr.  Marshall,  374 
Larut,  journey  from,  159 
Laurence,  Mr.,  209,  212 

—  Mrs.,  209,  213 
Lausanne,  174,  178 
Lawrence,    St.,    church   of,    146 ; 

river,  33 
Lawson,  Andrew,  7 

—  Dora,  7 

—  Rev.  John,  24,  120 

—  Miss  Margaret,  389,  391 

—  Marmaduke,  7 

—  Rev.  Marmaduke,  7 

—  Mrs.,  7 

—  Professor,  70 
Layard,  Sir  Henry,  250 
Lazarief,  Port,  283 
Leahy \  Constable,  191 
Leh,  210,  216,  217 

Leisure  Hour,  The,  papers  in,  28, 
49,  65,  67,  93,  94,  109,  131,  160, 
266,  372 

Leonard's,  St.,  161,  163 

"  Lesser  Tibet,"  lecture  on,  296 

Levack,  Mr.,  184 

Li  Ping,  317  ;  his  system  of  irriga 

tion  works,  317  ;   shrine,  318 
Liau,  river,  285 
Liau-yang,  289 
Lillingston,  Miss,  175 
Lismore,  56,  66 
Lister,   Professor,    143,    163,    172, 


Liverpool,  275 
"  Livingstone  Memorial,"   bazaar 

for  the  erection  of  a  college,  95, 

99  ;   cost,  95 
Loftus,  Mr.,  109 
London,  Bishop  of,  370,  378 
Longfellow,  H.  W.,  visit  to,  42 
Lorimer,  Mr.,  93 
—  Mrs.,  384 
Lothian,  Lord,  342 
Louchon,  323 
Lough,  191 
Louise,  Princess,  96 
Low,  Mr.,  his  monkeys,  185 
Lowe,  Dr.,  96 
Lowell,  Russell,   167  ;    his  motto, 


Lowther,  Mr.,  326 
Luc,  St.,  174,  177 
Luristan,  mountains  of,  224 
Lyall,  Sir  Alfred  and  Lady,  243, 


MACAULAY,  DR.,  170 

Macclesfield,  371 

MacCallum,  Miss,  first  secretary 
of  the  Y.W.C. A.,  at  Tobermory, 

Macdiarmid,  Mrs.,  179 ;  letters 
from  Miss  Bird,  120,  147,  189, 
196,  245,  356,  382  ;  letters  from 
Miss  Henrietta  Bird,  no,  115, 
116,  132 

Macdonald,  Mr.  Duncan,  174 

—  Dr.  John,  at  Port  Said,  203 

—  Dr.,  48 

—  Mrs.,     116,     153,     351,     356; 
letters  from  Mrs.  Bishop,   169, 
170,    178,    195,    196,    202,    244, 
259,  265,  359,  386 



Macdonald,  Miss,  254,  351,  356; 
letters  from  Mrs.  Bishop,  245, 

257,  383 
Macfarlane,  Mr.,  77 

—  Mrs.,   77 ;   her  sudden   death, 

Macfie,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  receive  the 

King  of  Hawaii-nei,  150 
Macgregor,  Dr.,  384 
Mackenzie,  Mr.,  297 

—  the  Misses,  92,  127,  381 
Mackinnon,  Hector,  356 

—  Mary,  199 

—  Nurse,  179 
MacLachlan,  Mr.,  183 

—  Mrs.,  183,  264 

Maclean,  Sir  Harry  de  Vere,  362 

—  K.f  359 

Maconachie,  Mr.,  213  ;  on  the 
Zoji  La,  2 1 5 

Maidenhead,  8 

Main,  Dr.,  his  hospital  at  Hang- 
chow,  297  ;  letter  from  Mrs. 
Bishop,  382 

—  Mrs.,  on  Mrs.  Bishop's  visit  to 
Hangchow,  297 

Malacca,  107 

Malay  Peninsula,  notes  on  the,  154 

"  Malay  Peninsula,  Sketches  in," 
1 60 

Malay  States,  107 

Malta,  332 

Manchus  and  Chinese,  hatred  • 
between,  289 

Mando,  212,  217 

Man-tze  tribes,  320 

"Man-tze  of  the  Tsu-ku-Shan 
mountains,"  papers  on  the,  347 

Mapu,  295 

Mar  Shimun,  the  Nestorian  Patri- 
arch, 237 

Marakesh,  361,  365 

Marbishu,  233 

Martyn,  Henry,  4 

Mary's  Hospital,  St.,  181  ;  train- 
ing at,  1 86 

Massachusetts,  Western,  42 

Masujima,  Mr.,  348 

Matayan,  216 

Mathieson,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  266 
Mathieson,  Mr.  James,  194 
Maxwell,  Dr.,  179,  199 
Mayo,  192 
Mazagan,  361 
McCarthy,  Mr.  Justin,  190 
McDougall,  Mrs.,  her  illness,  179 
McFie,  Mr.,  29 

McGee,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Peter- 
borough, 8 1 

Mcllvaine,  Bishop,  30  Aj 

Mclvor,  Mr.,  204,  220 

—  Mrs.,  220 
McKendrick,  Dr.,  92 
McLachlan,  Dr.,  119 
McNeill,  Lady  Emma,  95 

—  Sir  John,  70,  95 
Meath,  Lady,  379 

Medical  missions,  addresses  on, 
257,  262.  See  Missions 

Mejidieh  ss.,  220 

Mentone,  177 

Mersey,  the,  29 

Merttins,  Sir  George,  2 

Middleton,  Lady,  her  friendship 
with  Miss  Bird,  71  ;  on  her 
manner  of  speech  and  appear- 
ance. 74  ;  visit  from  Miss  Bird, 
92,  256  ;  letters  from  her,  105, 
138,  142,  146,  147,  151,  157,  161, 
162,  167,  182,  196,  217,  254, 

256,  345,    349,    385,   386;    ac- 
cession to  the  title,  112;    con- 
sideration    for     others,      113; 
illness  of  her  husband,  137 

Milford,  Mr.  John,  37 

—  Mrs.,  82 
Miller,  Mr.,  278 
Min,  the,  317,  320 
Minnehaha,  Falls  of,  42 
Minnesota  Territory,  42 
Mirza  Yusuf,  228,  231 
Missions,    medical,    addresses   on, 

257,  262  ;  China,  advice  on  the 
working,  336-40  ;    at  Amritsar, 
219;    Julfa,  224;    Urmi,    232; 
Van,  238  ;  Bitlis,  240 ;  Mukden, 
287 ;    Hangchow,    297  ;    Pijong- 
yang,  309;  Paoning-fu,  315 



Mississippi  river,   42  ;    cruise  on 

the,  30 
Mitchell,    Dr.    Murray,    143 ;    at 

Mentone,  177 
Mitch  elstown,  191 
Moffat,  157 

—  Dr.  Robert,  96 

—  Mr.,  309 
Mogador,  361,  365 
Mohammerah,  220 

Moir,  Dr.,  50,  63,  77  ;  retires  from 

practice,  96 
Mongolia  ss.,  275 
Monkey,  drunkenness  of  a,  185 
Montgomery,  Miss,  230 
Monthly  Review,  The,  articles  on 

Morocco,  360,  369 
Montreal,  33,  35 
Mooyaart,  Mrs.,  letter  from  Mrs. 

Bishop,  377 
Morocco,    impressions    of,     363  ; 

character  of  the  Mohammedan 

religion,  364  ;  government,  364  ; 

reforms,  364 

—  Sultan  of,  receives  Mrs.  Bishop, 
362,  365 

Morvern,  Sound  of,  127 
Moule,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  296 
Mountain,  Dr.,  Bishop  of  Quebec, 


Muir,  Sir  William,  95,  262 
Muirhead,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  296 
Mukden,    286 ;     medical    mission 

at,  287 

Mulai-el-Arbi,  368 
Mull,  25,  40,  244,  265  ;    isolation 

of,  141 

—  A  ballad  of,  394-6 
Miiller,  Professor  Max,  23 
Murad-chai  tributary,  241 
Murray,    Mr.     John,     186,     243  ; 

introduction  to  Miss  Bird,  37  ; 
publishes  The  Englishwoman  in 
America,  38  ;  letters  from  Miss 
Bird,  41,  80,  84,  90,  135,  139, 
141,  165,  170,  172,  180,  191, 
192,  199,  202,  251  ;  his  de- 
cision to  postpone  publishing 
Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan,  115; 

publishes  The  Golden  Cher- 
sonese, 1 60 ;  his  wish  for  a 
series  of  articles  on  Ireland, 
1 88  ;  interest  in  Mrs.  Bishop's 
work  on  Persia,  251  ;  his  death, 

Murray,  Mr.  John,  263  ;  letters 
from  Mrs.  Bishop,  251,  263,  269, 
276,  277,  293,  301,  305,  320, 

325,  329,  331,  333.  341 

—  Mrs.,  38,  186,  191,  243 

—  Miss,  her  views  on  the  slavery 
question,  39 

Murray's  Magazine,  181,  191 
Mya  Panch,  Commander-in-Chief , 

NAGASAKI,  292,  295 
Nasim  Bagh,  207,  214 
Nature,  reviews  in,  85,  139 
Nazareth,    proposal    to    build    a 

hospital  at,  187 
Nelson,  Mr.  Thomas,  77 

—  Miss,  357 

Nestorian   heresy,    exposition   of, 

246  ;  their  character,  233 
Nettleship,  Rev.  Arthur,  146 
Neve,  Dr.  Arthur,   204 ;    on  the 
visit  to  Islamabad,  205 

—  Dr.  Ernest,  207,  214;   on  the 
Zoji  La,  215 

New  Era  steamer,  33 

New  York,  35,  42,  77,  roi 

New  Zealand,  impressions  of,  79 

Newchang,  285,  289 

Newnham,  Miss,  208 

Niagara,  33,  42 

Nichol,  Mrs.,  92 

Nicholson,  Dr.,  163 

Nikk6,  102 

Ningpo,  300,  301 

Norman,  Rev.  H.  V.,  290 ;  mur- 
dered, 290  note 

North,  Miss,  155 

North  China  Daily  News,  324 

Nova  Scotia,  29 

Nugent,  Mr.,  acts  as  guide  to  Miss 
Bird,  83  ;  her  influence  over 
him,  83  ;  death,  84 



OBAN,  51,  55,  81,  114,  168 

Oliphant,  Lawrence,  34 

Olney,  23 

Ontario,  Lake,  32 

O'Rourke,  Murphy,  240 

Osaka,  292,  303 

Otago  settlement,  79 

"  Other  Missions,"  address  on,  289 

Otter,  Admiral,  68 

—  Captain,  5 1 

—  Mrs.,  52,  68 
Ottershaw,  379 

Ouse,  the,  23,  82,  244,  348 
Oxford,  visit  to,  373 

PACK-KIU-MI,  280 

Palmer,  Mrs.,  349,  350,  357,  370, 

374,    378  ;     letter    from    Mrs. 

Bishop,  371 
Paoning-fu,    journey    to,    313-5  ; 

mission  at,  315;  Henrietta  Bird 

Hospital,  opened  at,  315,  325 
Paris,  155,  178,  243 
Parkes,  Lady,  100,  102,  105  ;  her 

opinion    of   Dr.    Bishop,    112; 

death,  114 

—  Sir    Harry,     100,     102,     105  ; 
death  of  his  wife,  114  ;    at  the 
funeral  of  Henrietta  Bird,  120 

—  Miss,  112 

Parlett,  Mr.  Harold,  327 
Paton,  Lady,  95 

—  Sir  Noel,  58,  95 
Patriot,  The,  46 
Peiho  River,  289 
Peking,  290 
Pentlands,  the,  92 
Perry,  Bishop,  95,  186 

Persia   and   Kurdistan,    Journeys 

in,     245  ;      publication,     253  ; 

reviews  on,  262 
"  Persian  Manners  and  Customs," 

lecture  on,  253 
Peterborough,  150 
Peterculter,  369 
Philadelphia,  42 
Phillimore,    Miss   Lucy,    on   Mrs. 

Bishop's  advice  to  missionaries, 


Photographic  convention,  at  Cam- 
bridge, 375 

Photography,  lessons  in,  259 

Pick-pocket,  adventure  with  a, 

Picton,  29 

Pilgrimage  to  Mount  Sinai,  A,  131, 

Pioneer,  the,  56,  166 

Pipe,  Miss,  her  characteristics, 
94  ;  friendship  with  Miss  Bird, 


Pohru  river,  209 

Pontarlier,  178 

Poole,  Miss,  163,  178 

Port  Chalmers,  79 

Port  Said,  203 

Portsmouth,  28 

Prince  Edward's  Island,  28  ;  im- 
pressions of,  30 

Pruen,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  296 

Psychological  Fragment,  181 

Pul-i-Wargun,  228 

Purves,  Mrs.,  132 

Pyong-Yang,  289 

Pyong-yang,  mission  at,  309  ; 
victory  at,  306,  308 

Quarterly  Review,  The,  1 39 
Quebec,  epidemic  of  cholera,  34 

RAASAY,  25 
Rainbow  ss.,  107 
Rawal  Pindi,   204 
Rawhead  hill,  1 1 
Rawlinson,  Sir  Henry,  250 
Redslob,  Rev.  W.,  216 
Reigate,  372 
Reynolds,  Dr.,  238,  240 
Richmond,        African        Baptist 

Church  service  in,  43 
Rio,  228 
Ritchie,  Dr.,  168,  263,  374,  379, 


Riviera,  tour  through  the,  171 
Roberts,  Dr.,  361,  368 

—  Sir    Frederick    and    Lady,    at 
Lahore,  204 

—  Miss,  209 


Robertson,  Mr.  James,  77,  80,  101 

—  Mrs.,  80 

Robinson,  Sir  William,  107 

Roch,  St.,  34 

Rock  island,  30 

Rocky  mountains,  travels  in,  80 

Rocky  Mountains,  A  Lady's  Life 
in  the,  publication,  109  ;  second 
and  third  editions,  no,  114; 
translated  into  French,  199 

Rose,  H.M.S.,  65 

Ross,  Colonel,  220 

—  Dr.  and  Mrs.,  286 

—  Hon.  John,  34 

—  Mr.  George,  131 
Ross-shire,  25,  40 

Royal  Geographical  Society,  elec- 
tion of  Mrs.  Bishop  as  a 
Fellow,  265  ;  opposition  to 
electing  lady  fellows,  265  note, 

—  Scottish  Geographical  Society, 
Edinburgh,  confers  a  fellowship 
on  Mrs.  Bishop,  252 

Royston,  Bishop  and  Mrs.,  348 
Russell,  Mr.  T.  W.,  198 

SAFFI,  366 

Saigon,  160 

Salisbury,  Lord,  accepts  the  dedi- 
cation of  The  Yangtze  Valley 
and  Beyond,  350 ;  his  appre- 
ciation of  the  book,  351 

Salt  Desert,  the  Great,  223 

—  Lake  City,  101 

Sampson,  Low  &  Co.,  Messrs.,  47 

San  Francisco,  101 

Sanders,  Miss,  her  recollections  of 
St.  Thomas's,  19 ;  her  visit 
to  Epping  Forest,  22 

Sandwich  Islands,  79 ;  impres- 
sions of,  80 

Sandwich  Islands,  Six  Months  in 
the,  publication,  84  ;  character 
of  the  book,  85  ;  style,  86 

Satow,  Sir  Ernest,  102,  305,  326  ; 
British  Minister  at  Peking,  358 

Sawyer,  Colonel,  346 

—  Major,   his  mission  to  Persia, 

218  ;  at  Tihran,  223  ;  charac- 
teristics, 227  ;  escorts  Mrs. 
Bishop,  224,  227  ;  at  Burujird, 
229  ;  in  London,  248 

Scarinish  Bay,  179 

Scotland,  visits  to,  25,  40,  45,  48 

Scotsman,  139 

Scottish    Geographical    Magazine, 


Seaton  Carew,  24  ;   vicarage,  1 5 1 
Seeley,  Messrs.,  46 
Sells,  Mr.,  213 
Seoul,   276,   277,   293,   305,   330  ; 

palace  at,  captured  by  Japanese, 

288  ;   memorial  hospital  at,  325 
Settrington  House,  92 
Shackleton,  Dr.  William,  in  charge 

of  the  Henrietta  Bird  Hospital 

at  Paoning-fu,  315 
Shamrock,  H.M.S.,  65 
Shanghai,  101,  297,  301,  310,  323 
Shao  Hsing,  298 
Sharban,  the  charvadar,  231 
Shaw,  Dr.,  161,  163 
Shayok  rapids,  217 
Shedd,    Dr.,    Principal    of    Urmi 

College,  232 

Sheffield,  143  ;   lectures  at,  369 
Shergol,  216 
Shinondi,  the  Aino,  104 
Shobunotaki,  326 
Shore,  Miss  Constance,  386 
Sialkot,  204,  219 
Sierre,  177 

Sieveking,  Sir  E.,  186 
Si-hing,  298 
Simla,  218 
Sinai,  Mount,  108 
Sind  river,  211  ;  valley,  211 
Sinfu,  323 
Singapore,  107,  160 
Skene,  Mr.,  55 
Skye,  25,  40,  56 
Smith,  Alexander,  58 

—  Mr.  Cecil,  107 

—  Mr.  George,  291 

—  General  Sir  Robert  Murdoch, 
252  ;   his  review  of  Journeys  in 
Persia  and  Kurdistan,  255 


Smith,  Mrs.,  80 

Soglio,  155 

Sona  Pass,  224 

Sonamarg,  211,  213 

Southampton,  257 

Sparrow,  Lady  Olivia,  23,  36 

Spencer  Wood,  34 

Spurgeon,     Mr.,     baptizes     Mrs. 

Bishop,  195 
Srinagar,  204 
Stanley,  Dean,  114 
Stephen,  Sir  George,  6 

—  Major  Grant,  89 
Stevenson,  Miss  Flora,  387 
Stewart,    Lady   Grainger,    letters 

from  Mrs.  Bishop,  248,  352 

—  Sir  Thomas  Grainger,   50,  77, 
143,    161,    168,    243,    263  ;    his 
obituary    notice    of    Henrietta 
Bird,    129 ;     letter    from    Mrs. 
Bishop,     344;      illness,     351; 
death,  352 

—  Mrs.,  296 

—  Miss  Grainger,  her  anecdote  of 
Miss  Bird,  12 

—  Nancy,  29 

Stock,  Mr.  Eugene,  205,  270,  336 
Stodart,  Miss,  384 
Stoddart,  Miss  Frances,  49 
Stowe,  Mrs.  Beecher,  Uncle  Tom's 

Cabin,  30 
Stranraer,  265 
Strathglass,  88 
Strongarbh  Cottage,  77 
Suez  Canal,  202 
Summers,  Mr.,  363,  387 
Sumner,  Charles  Richard,  2 

—  John  Bird,  2 

—  Rev.  Robert,  2 

—  Bishop,  268 
Sunday  at  Home,  49 

—  Magazine,  The,  59,  60,  63 
Superior,  Lake,  42 
Surmel  valley,  242 
Sutton,  Dr.,  220 

—  Mrs.,  227 
Swabey,  Captain,  28,  29 
Swatow,  290 
Swatow,  296 

Switzerland,  136,  155 

Syrian  Christians,  their  character, 
233  »  oppressions  of  the  Kurds, 
234 ;  fidelity  to  their  faith, 
234,  238  ;  address  on  the,  268 

Sze-Chuan,  315 

TAFILET,  360 

Ta-lu,  317 

Tangier,  360,  368 

Taplow  Hill,  2,  3  ;    visit  to,   13  ; 

life  at,  14;  family  prayers,  15 
Tattenhall,  347  ;   living  of,  8 
Taylor,  Mrs.  Howard,  387 

—  Lady  Jane,  24,  346 

—  Mrs.  Peter,  165 

—  Canon,  his  estimate  of  Islam, 

—  Mr.,  359 

Teignmouth,  Lord  and  Lady,  95, 


Temperance,  views  on,  184 
Territet,  172 
Thomas,  Mrs.,  52 
Thomas's,  St.,  Birmingham,  17 
Thompson,  Lucy,  4 

—  Rev.  Marmaduke,  4 
Thomson,  Mrs.,  77,  127 
Thoreau,  43 
Thousand  Islands,  33 
Thusis,  136 

Tibet,  British,  218  ;  Western, 
209,  217  ;  paper  on,  262 

"Tibetans,  Among  the,"  papers 
on,  266 

Tientsin,  289 

Tigris,  220 

Tihran,  223 

Tilail  mountain,  215 

Tiree,  77,  179 

Tobermory,  56,  63,  64,  81,  137, 
147,  150,  153,  157,  160,  166, 
178 ;  drunkenness  in,  184  ; 
Y.W.C.A.,  branch  formed  at, 
185  ;  cookery  classes  organised 
at,  264 ;  condition  of  the 
people,  354 

Tokio,  102,  105,  303,  305  ;  or- 
phanage at,  325 


Tong-hak  rising,  283 

Tooke,  Home,  23 

Toole,  Mr.  J.  L.,  197 

Toronto,  31,  42 

Torquay,  23 

Torrance,  Dr.,  187 

Torridon,  Loch,  113 

Tosh,  Mr.,  73 

Trebizond,  229,  242 

Truro,  29 

Tso,  General,  287  ;    his  defeat  at 

Pyong-yang,  306 
Tulloch,  Principal,  93 
Tumen  River,  292 
Tunbridge  Wells,  47 
Turin,  155 
Tyrol,  155 
Tytler,  Mr.  Fraser,  58 

UIST,  NORTH,  65  ;  South,  65 

Ulva  Cottage,  77,  127 

Unbeaten  Tracks  in  Japan,  publi- 
cation, 138  ;  reviews,  139  ;  new 
edition,  168 

United  States,  tour  in,  42  ;  re- 
ligious meetings,  43 

United  States,  Aspects  of  Religion 
in  the,  notes  on,  45  ;  publica- 
tion, 47 

Urmi,  229,  231  ;  missionary  work 
in,  232 

Usman  Shah,  212 

Ussuri,  292 

VALLA Y,  65 

Van,  233,  238  ;  American  Mission 

House  at,  238 
Vancouver's  Island,  276 
Verney,  Rev.  the  Hon.  Walter  R., 

Victoria,    Queen,    her    power    of 

bearing    cold,     145  ;     visit    to 

Edinburgh      Infirmary,      150; 

receives     Mrs.     Bishop,     267 ; 

funeral,  361 
Virginia,  42 
Vissoie,  173 
Vladivostock,  291 
Volga  ss.,  1 06 

WJEBER,  MR.,  332 

Waller,  Mr.  Horace,  95 

Walshe,  Rev.  W.  Gilbert,  on  Mrs. 

Bishop's   visit   to   Shao-Hsing, 


Wan-Hsien,  312 
Warburton,  Dr.,  210 
Washington,  42 

—  George,  42 
Waterford,  191 
Wazam,  360,  367 
Wedderburn,  Miss,  296 
Wei-hai-wei,  fall  of,  305 
Wells,  Major,  224 
Westbury,  161,  180 

"  Where  are  the  Women  ?  "  ad- 
dress on,  374 

Whittier,  his  lines  on  the  "  Eternal 
Gate,"  385 

Whyte,  Dr.,  204,  384  ;  Scripture 
Characters,  389 

Wilberforce,  Judith,  I 

—  Robert,  3 

—  William,  3,  14 

—  Canon,  257 
Wilkinson,  Mr.,  102,  284 
Williams,  Rev.  E.  O.,  315 
Williamson,  Mrs.,  376,  390 
WiUing  Park,  262 
Willoughby,      Hon.      Mrs.,      95  ; 

letters  from  Miss  Bird,  71-3,  87, 

88,    90,    99 ;    at   Franzensbad, 

Wilson,  Dr.  J.  H.,  his  death  and 

funeral,  383  ;  his  Life  of  Robert 

S.  Candlish,  145 
Winchester,  Bishop  of,  27,  65 

—  School,  lecture  at,  373 
Winton,  92 
Wisconsin,  42 

Wolff,  Sir  Henry  Drummond,  223, 


Wolverton,  Lord,  23 
Women  Writers,   annual  dinner, 


Wong,  278,  285,  290 
Wonson,  Eastern  treaty  port  of, 

280,  283 
Wright,  Dr.,  163 

416  INDEX 

Wukingfu,  297  Yi-Hak-In,  Mr.,  306 

Wylie,  Mr.,  murdered,  289  Yokohama,  101,  276 

Wyton,  348  ;   living  of,  23  York,  missionary  meeting  at,  257 

Young  Women's  Christian  Asso- 

YANGTZE,   296  ;    voyage  up  the,  ciation,  branch  at  Tobermory, 

310  185  ;   course  of  addresses  given 

Yangtze  Valley  and  Beyond,  310;  to,    200;     series    of    practical 

illustrations,  326  ;  dedicated  to  "  Talks,"  265 

Lord  Salisbury,  350 ;    publica-  Yumoto,  sulphur-baths  at,  326 

tion,  351 

Yezd,  226  ZARKTAN  CASTLE,  363 

Yezo,  102  Zoji  La,  214 

Printed  by  Hanell,  Watson  &  Vineyt  Ld.t  London  and  Aylesbury. 

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